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Mahesh Kumar Jain takes charge as MD & CEO of IDBI Bank

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Mr. Mahesh Kumar Jain has assumed charge as Managing Director & CEO of IDBI Bank with effect from April 3.
 
Prior to the current assignment, Mr. Jain was the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Indian Bank.
 
A press release from IDBI Bank said Mr. Jain had joined Indian Bank as an Executive Director in September 2013 where he handled key portfolios such as Corporate & Retail Credit, SME Credit, Risk Management, Recovery & Legal, Accounts, Technology Management, Banking Operations Department, Business Process Re-engineering and Compliance Department. 
 
Prior to joining Indian Bank, he served as General Manager with Syndicate Bank and handled various portfolios, including Credit, Operations, Investments and Risk Management. He began his banking career with Punjab National Bank.
 
He was a member of the Steering Committee on Risk Management of IBA and a Member of the IBA working group on Risk Management and implementation of Basel II and III. He was also the Secretary & Coordinator to Basant Seth Committee on Review & Revamp of Internal & Concurrent Audit System in PSBs.
 
At present, Mr. Jain is a member of the NIBM Governing Board, PGDM Executive Council of NIBM, CII National Committee on Banking 2016-17 and CII National Council on Financial Sector Development 2016-17.
 
Mr. Jain has M.Com., MBA, CAIIB, CFA and FRM to his academic credit.
 
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Renowned classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar passes away

Kishori Amonkar
Kishori Amonkar
Renowned Hindustani classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar, who was recognized as one of the foremost innovative exponents of the Jaipur gharana, passed away here late last night after a brief illness.
 
She was 84. She is survived by two sons. Her husband Ravindra Amonkar had predeceased her in the 1980s.
 
Ms. Amonkar, who was ailing for some time, breathed her last at her residence in central Mumbai a week before her 85th birthday, sources close to her family said.
 
The singer had a huge following for her rendering of classical khyals as well as the lighter classical genres of thumris and bhajans.
 
Born on April 10, 1932 in Mumbai, Amonkar trained under her mother, classical singer Mogubai Kurdikar of the Jaipur gharana, but later experimented with a variety of vocal styles.
 
The singer also dabbled a bit in playback singing for Hindi movies, having sung for Geet Gaya Patharon Ne in 1964 and for Drishti in 1990.
 
Apart from performing at music recitals, Ms. Amonkar also used to speak at lecture-demonstrations on the role of rasa in music.
 
Ms. Amonkar was honoured by the Government with the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honour, in 1987 and with the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian honour, in 2002. She was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 1985 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 2009.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the passing away of Ms. Amonkar. "Demise of Kishori Amonkar is an irreparable loss to Indian classical music. Deeply pained by her demise. May her soul rest in peace," he said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"The works of Kishori Amonkar will always remain popular among people for years to come," he added.
 
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Aruna Sethi appointed as Chief Adviser (Cost) in Dept. of Expenditure

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Mrs. Aruna Sethi, a 1985 batch officer of Indian Cost Accounts Service (ICoAS) has been elevated to the position of Chief Adviser (Cost) in the Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure with effect from April 1, 2017.
 
She is the first lady ICoAS officer who has reached this position.  Earlier, she headed ICoAS from 1st February, 2016 onwards, being the senior most ICoAS officer, an official press release said.
 
ICoAS is one of the six Organized Accounting Services of the Government of India. Chief Adviser (Cost) is advising the Ministries and Government Undertakings on cost accounts matters and undertaking cost investigation on their behalf, the release added.
 
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Vanaja Sarna appointed as Chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs

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Ms. Vanaja N. Sarna, IRS (C&CE:1980), presently serving as Member (Administration), has been appointed as Chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC). 
 
She will succeed Mr. Najib Shah, IRS (C&CE:79), who superannuated from service today, an official press release said.
 
Ms. Sarna has served CBEC in several capacities over the last 36 years. These include postings in Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax formations in Kochi, Delhi, Chennai, Meerut, Chandigarh and Bangalore. She has also worked as Additional Director General, National Academy of Customs, Excise & Narcotics (NACEN), in Chennai. 
 
She was also Additional Director General in Directorate General of Revenue Intelligence, New Delhi. She also served on deputation as Under Secretary, Legislative Department, Ministry of Law and as Director/ Joint Secretary in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. 
 
Prior to becoming Member, CBEC, she held the charge of Director General of Vigilance and Chief Vigilance Officer of the Department.
 
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Rajiv Kumar Chander named Ambassador to UN Offices in Geneva

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Mr. Rajiv Kumar Chander, presently Consul General of India in Vancouver, Canada, has been appointed as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations Offices in Geneva.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr. Chander, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1983 batch, was expected to take up his assignment shortly.
 
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Air Marshal S Harpal Singh assumes charge as Director General (Inspection & Safety) at Air HQ

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Air Marshal S Harpal Singh has assumed office of Director General (Inspection and Safety) at the Indian Air Force (IAF) headquarters here.
 
Air Marshal Harpal Singh graduated with 56th course of National Defence Academy and was commissioned in the fighter stream of the IAF on June 15, 1980. He has over 2400 hours of flying on various aircrafts.
 
The Air Officer has commanded a fighter squadron, was Chief Operations Officer of a major fighter base in the Western sector, commanded a radar base and was Air Officer Commanding of a major fighter station in the Eastern sector.
 
He has served in various staff appointments at Air Headquarters, Tri Services Organisations and was the Senior Air Staff Officer of South Western Air Command prior to assuming the present assignment.
 
He is a Fighter Combat Leader, a graduate of Defence Services Staff College, and has undergone the General Course for Senior Officers at National Institute of Defence Studies, Japan. For his distinguished services of an exceptionally high order he was awarded ‘Ati Vashist Seva Medal’ and ‘Vayu Sena Medal’, an official press release added.
 
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Hardeep Singh Puri named Chairman of Research and Information System for Developing Countries

File photo of Mr Hardeep Singh Puri
File photo of Mr Hardeep Singh Puri
Former career diplomat Hardeep Singh Puri, who had served as India's Ambassador to the United Nations in New York and Geneva, has been appointed as the Chairman of the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) in New Delhi.
 
An official announcement from the Ministry of External Affairs said he was expected to take up the assignment shortly.
 
Mr. Puri, who was the Permanent Representative of India to the UN in New York from May 4, 2009 to February 27, 2013, had joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on January 2, 2014.
 
Mr Puri belonged to the 1974 batch of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and had, during a distinguished career spanning 39 years, served in various positions in the Ministries of External Affairs and Defence.
 
Regarded as an expert on World Trade Organisation (WTO) issues, he has long years of experience in multilateral institutions. 
 
Before being appointed as the Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, he served as India's ambassador to Brazil, where he had an important role in the shaping of the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Summit.
 
Before that he had served as India's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and as the Deputy High Commissioner in London.
 
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During 2011 and 2012, as Permanent Representative, he led the Indian Delegation to the Security Council. He also chaired its Counter Terrorism Committee from January 2011 to February 2013, and served as President of the United Nations Security Council in August 2011 and November 2012.
 
At the MEA headquarters here, Mr. Puri had served as Secretary (Economic Relations) before being posted to the UN in New York.
 
Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) is an autonomous think-tank under the MEA, specializing in policy research on international economic issues and development cooperation. 
 
RIS is envisioned as a forum for fostering effective policy dialogue and capacity-building among developing countries on international economic issues. The focus of the work programme of RIS is to promote South- South Cooperation and assist developing countries in multilateral negotiations in various forums. 
 
RIS is engaged in the Track II process of several regional initiatives. It provides analytical support to the Government of India in the negotiations for concluding comprehensive economic cooperation agreements with partner countries.
 
Through its intensive network of policy think tanks, RIS seeks to strengthen policy coherence on international economic issues.
 
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Car racer Ashwin Sundar, wife die as their BMW hits tree in Chennai, goes up in flames

Well-known professional car racer Ashwin Sundar and his wife Nivedhita, a doctor working for a local hospital, were charred to death when their BMW car rammed into a tree on the roadside and went up in flames on the San Thome High Road in Chennai late on Friday night.

Ashwin Sundar
Ashwin Sundar
Well-known professional car racer Ashwin Sundar and his wife Nivedhita, a doctor working for a local hospital, were charred to death when their BMW car rammed into a tree on the roadside and went up in flames on the San Thome High Road here late last night.
 
According to police and other sources, Sundar, 31, who was driving, and his wife were trapped in the car, which had got stuck between the tree and a wall, and they could not open the doors. 
 
Both of them died before firefighters or other help could reach the spot, the sources said.
 
The tragedy was caught on mobile phone cameras by some passers-by, but they could not approach the car, which was in flames. They alerted the police, and a team soon rushed to the spot. Fire brigade personnel from Mylapore also reached the scene in a while and put the fire out.
 
The police broke open the door of the car and extricated the bodies, which were sent to the Government Royapettah Hospital for post-mortem examination.
 
Later, the couple was identified with the help of the car's registration number and other details. They had reportedly visited a friend in Raja Annamalaipuram and were returning home to their residence in Aolappakkam, near Porur, when the mishap occurred. 
 
 
Racer Ashwin Sundar, wife charred to death after BMW catches fire
The racing world mourned the death of the young driver.
 
"#FMSCI deeply regrets death of national racing champ #AshwinSundar and wife Nivedhita in car crash last night. Our condolences to the family," the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) said on Twitter.
 
"Motor sports has lost a truly fine driver and an amazing person in #AshwinSundar. May his soul rest in peace. #RIPAshwin," FMSCI added.
 
Sundar had won the Formula 4 national title twice and the MRF Formula 1600 International Challenge competition two times.
 
Former Formula 1 driver Karun Chandhok said on Twitter: "Very sad to hear this morning that the young Indian National racing champion Ashwin Sundar and his wife were killed in a road accident. #RIP."
 
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Malayalam film director Diphan passes away

Diphan Sivakumar
Diphan Sivakumar
Well-known Malayalam film director Diphan Sivakumar, who made a string of hits during a 14-year career as an independent filmmaker, passed away here at a private hospital here where he was undergoing treatment for cirrhosis of the liver and kidney-related issues, sources said.
 
He was 47. He is survived by his wife and two children. His body will be cremated in Thiruvananthapuram tomorrow, they said.
 
Diphan, who was also known as Deepan, was admitted to the hospital on February 26 undergoing treatment at the hospital since February 26 for cirrhosis of the liver and kidney-related issues, they said.
 
Diphan directed seven movies, including Leader, D Company, SIM and Dolphin Bar as well as Puthiyamukham and Hero, which featured popular actor Prithivraj Sukumaran.
 
His last film, Sathya, starring Jayaram and Roma in the lead roles, is in the post-production stage, the sources said.
 
"Will miss you Diphan chetan! Thank you for giving me one of the most important films in my career. Rest in peace now..rest in peace!" Prithviraj said on his Facebook page.
 
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Manjeev Singh Puri appointed as Ambassador to Nepal

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Mr. Manjeev Singh Puri , presently Ambassador of India to Belgium, has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to Nepal.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr. Puri, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1982 batch, was expected to take up the assignment shortly.
 
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Narendra Kumar takes over as Chairman Central Water Commission

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Mr. Narendra Kumar, an officer of Central Water Engineering Service (1979 batch), has assumed office as Chairman, Central Water Commission (CWC).
 
Prior to this, he was serving as Member (River Management) of CWC since October 2014.
 
Mr. Kumar, 59, has a B.E. in Civil Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee and an M. Tech. from IIT Delhi in Structural Engineering. He has served in various capacities in CWC as Assistant Director in Design Organisation, Deputy Director in Project Appraisal Directorate and Director in Dam Safety Organisation and Project Monitoring Directorate. He has also served as Senior Joint Commissioner in Command Area Development wing of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation from 2002 to 2005. 
 
From 2009 to 2011, he served as Chief Engineer, Brahmaputra and Barak Basin, Shillong. He has also worked as Commissioner of B&B wing of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation during 2011 to 2014.
 
He was also member of Experts Committee for Scientific Assessment of flood prone area in India and Standing Committee for Morphological studies of Indian rivers. 
 
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D. Bala Venkatesh Varma concurrently accredited as Ambassador to Andorra

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Mr. D. Bala Venkatesh Varma, presently Ambassador of lndia to Spain, has been concurrently accredited as the country's next Ambassador to the Principality of Andorra, with residence in Madrid.
 
Mr. Varma, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1988 batch, was expected to take charge of the assignment shortly, a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said.
 
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Assembly elections: ECI issues directions for fool-proof security arrangements for counting of votes

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The Election Commission of India (EC) has issued directions to the Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) of Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Goa and Manipur to ensure fool-proof security arrangements for counting of votes, slated for March 11, in the Assembly elections in the five States.
 
The Commission had earlier issued detailed instructions to the CEOs regarding storage and safety arrangements for the electronic voting machines (EVMs), appointment of counting staff/counting agents and counting procedures.
 
An official press release said the Commission had held several rounds of video conferences with the CEOs and Returning Officers of all five states to take first hand inputs on their preparedness for counting of votes.
 
The ECI has set up 157 counting centres in the five states -- 53 in Punjab, two in Goa, 75 in Uttar Pradesh, 15 in Uttarakhand and 12 in Manipur.
 
"The ECI has taken feedback from all political parties and candidates, based on which these additional instructions have been issued with a view to further bolster security arrangements to tackle both general as well as situation specific exigencies and ensure a smooth counting process in a transparent manner," the release said.
 
According to the release, the instructions are:
 
1.      All the existing instructions of ECI on counting arrangement to be strictly followed by the DEOs and ROs in letter and spirit.
 
2.      Proper barricading arrangements to be ensured inside each of the counting hall with weld wires mesh to segregate the counting agents from the counting personnel and EVMs etc. as per the Commission’s instructions.
 
3.      In each of the counting hall proper arrangement for videography should be made to record the general happenings in the counting hall for effective monitoring of the counting process as per the Commission’s instructions.
 
4.      Effective barricading from the strong room door up to the counting hall door shall made in such a way that EVMs of each constituency should go to its respective counting hall only and shall not criss-cross each other.
 
5.      For ease of identification, coloured badges may be given to the staff engaged for transporting the EVMs to a particular counting hall each of constituency.
 
6.      As per the Commission’s instructions, all counting arrangements must be completed by the night of 7th March, 2017. The Observers shall visit the counting halls on the 8th March, 2017 and shall send a report to the Commission on counting arrangements.
 
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7.      It should be ensured that security protocol of strong rooms, as given in the Commission’s letter no. 51/8/VVPAT/2015-EMS dated 5th May 2015, in no way shall be breached while making the barricading arrangements and other preparatory work for the counting hall. If anywhere, counting hall is in the proximity of the strong room or the passage to the counting hall is near the strong room, then proper strong barricading should be erected to ensure that the access to the inner perimeter of the strong room is completely blocked. In all such matters, the DEO shall personally oversee and approve all such arrangements and ensure that security of EVMs in no way breached. Further, in all such places CCTV cameras may be placed, before under taking the counting arrangements, from where all the happenings of the movement are recorded and shown on a separate TV placed next to the TV fixed already for round the clock viewing of strong room doors by the candidates.
 
8.      On the date of counting, additional CCTV camera may be installed at such locations from where carrying of EVMs from the strong room to the counting hall can be recorded for effective monitoring.
 
9.      The CEO shall personally monitor and ensure that all the counting arrangements are done as per the instructions of the Commission.
 
10.  The entire plan would  be shared with contesting candidates by each DEO. The actual work of preparing for the counting shall be started thereafter for which all the contesting candidates/representatives may be invited to be present, if they wish so.
 
 The EC officer further said that these arrangements would ensure prevention of access to any anti-social element ,and that frisking will be done so that  no one enter the area with arms & ammunitions. Further, no one would be able to enter the counting arena without getting frisked.
 
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Filmmaker Karan Johar becomes father to twins via surrogate

Karan Johar
Karan Johar
Well-known filmmaker and talk show host Karan Johar today announced that he had become the father of twins, a boy named Yash and a girl named Roohi, who were born via a surrogate.
 
“I am ecstatic to share with you all the two most wonderful additions to my life, my children and lifelines;  Roohi and Yash.  I feel enormously blessed to be a parent to these pieces of my heart who were welcomed into this world with the help of the marvels of medical science," Johar, 44, said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
Johar said this was an emotional yet well thought-out decision which he had taken after considering all the responsibilities and duties that come with being a parent.
 
"In order to arrive at this decision, I have prepared myself mentally, physically, emotionally and logistically to ensure that my children get all the unconditional love, care and attention from me and mine. I have submitted to the fact that my children are my world and priority.  My work, travels and social commitments would have to  take a back seat and I am prepared for that. By the grace of God, I have the most caring and supportive mother who will be an integral part in the up-bringing of her grandchildren and of course, friends who are family.
 
"I am eternally grateful to the surrogate who has fulfilled my lifelong dream and provided a warm, loving and nurturing environment to my children before bringing them into this world. She will always remain in my prayers.
 
"Finally, a big thank you to Dr. Jatin Shah for his guidance and support and for being like a family member through this wonderful and exciting journey," he added.
 
The boy is named after Karan's father Yash Johar, a renowned filmmaker who passed away in 2004, while the girl's name is an anagram of Hiroo, his mother's name.
 
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ACC approves several senior appointments

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Ms. Nutan Guha Biswas, IAS (AGMUT:1983), Additional Secretary, Ministry of Women & Child Development has been appointed as Chairperson, Inland Waterways Authority of India under Ministry of Shipping in the rank and pay of Secretary.
 
This has been done by temporarily upgrading the post till 31.07.2018 or until further orders, whichever is earlier vice Mr. Amitabh Verma, IAS (BH:1982), an official press release said.
 
The release said the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) had also approved the repatriation of Mr. Verma to his cadre with immediate effect.
 
Mr. Bala Prasad, IFos (MN:1983) (presently on compulsory wait), has been appointed as Additional Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj vice Mr. A.K.Goyal, IFoS (KL:1981) (superannuated). 
 
Mr. T. Jacob, IAS (TN:1984), Additional Secretary, Department of Personnel & Training, has been appointed as Secretary (AS level), Union Public Service Commission vice Mr. Asha Ram Sihag, IAS (HP:1983).
 
Ms. Vandita Sharma, IAS (KN:1986), Member (Finance), Atomic Energy/Earth Commission, has been appointed as Additional Secretary & Financial Adviser, Department of Space vice Mr. A. Vijay Anand, IRS (C&CE:1980), (superannuated). 
 
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Ruchi Ghanashyam appointed as Secretary (West) in Ministry of External Affairs

Ruchi Ghanashyam
Ruchi Ghanashyam
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Ms. Ruchi Ghanashyam as Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
 
Ms. Ghanashyam, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1982 batch, is currently the High Commissioner of India to South Africa. She will succeed Ms. Sujata Mehta, a press release from MEA said.
 
Born on 4 April 1960, Ms. Ghanashyam joined the IFS in 1982 after obtaining a Master's in Psychology from Bhopal University. She is married to Mr. A.R. Ghanashyam, who also joined the Indian Foreign Service the same year. She has two grown up sons. 
 
She had earlier served as Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi heading the Europe West Division. She has also served as High Commissioner of India in Ghana with concurrent accreditation to Burkina Faso, Togo and Sierra Leone, from March, 2008 to October, 2011. Earlier she served as Minister in the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in New York from May, 2004 to March 2008. She served as Director for Pakistan at Headquarters in Delhi from August, 2000 to March, 2004 having earlier served as Counsellor [Political, Press & Info] in Islamabad.  She also served in the Embassy of India in Brussels, Belgium,Kathmandu, Nepal and Damascus, Syria where she learnt Arabic, and as Under Secretary in New Delhi looking after audio-visual publicity for the Ministry of External Affairs.
 
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D. R. Doley Barman appointed as Director, SVP National Police Academy, Hyderabad

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Ms. D. R. Doley Barman, presently working as Director, North East Police Academy (NEPA), Shillong, Meghalaya, has been appointed as Director, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA), Hyderabad.
 
Ms. Doley Burman, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1986 batch (JK cadre), will succeed Ms. Aruna M. Bahuguna, IPS (AP:79) by temporary downgrading the post to Additional Director General (ADG) level for a period of two years or until further orders, whichever is  earlier, an official press release said.
 
She would also hold additional charge of the post of Director, NEPA till the appointment and joining of regular Director, NEPA, the release added.
 
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Sudeep Lakhtakia to hold additional charge as DG, CRPF

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Mr. Sudeep Lakhakia, Additional Director General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), will hold additional charge of the post of Director General, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
 
The appointment will be with effect from tomorrow, conseqauent upon the superannuation of Mr. K. Durga Prasad, till the appointment and joining of a regular successor, an official press release said.
 
Mr. Lakhakia is an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1984 batch (Telangana cadre), the release added.
 
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Prof. G. Raghuram takes over as Director of IIM Bangalore

G. Raghuram
G. Raghuram
Professor G. Raghuram, who has been a member of the faculty at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA), took charge as the new Director of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) here today.
 
Prior to this, he was Professor and Chairperson of the Public Systems Group at IIMA.
 
Prof. Raghuram has a Ph. D. from Northwestern University, USA, a Post-graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) from IIMA and a B. Tech. degree from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras.
 
“I feel honoured and privileged to get the opportunity to work for IIM Bangalore. This is a top rated institution with a unique culture which I look forward to discovering. I would like to reach out to all its stakeholders: students and participants, faculty, staff, alumni, board members and the external ecosystem including industry and government, to enable IIMB reach greater heights," he said in a message to faculty and staff at IIMB soon after assuming charge.
 
Prof. Raghuram was Dean (Faculty), IIMA, from September 2013 to December 2015. He was Vice-Chancellor of the Indian Maritime University from July 2012 to March 2013. He was the Indian Railways Chair Professor from January 2008 to August 2010. He specializes in infrastructure and transport systems, and logistics and supply chain management. He conducts research on the railway, port, shipping, aviation and road sectors. He has published over 35 refereed papers in journals and written over 155 case studies. He has published six co-authored books. He was awarded the ‘MC Puri Memorial Award’ for Contribution to Operational Research in India, 2016; ‘Academician of the Year’ by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in 2012, and ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for contribution to logistics and infrastructure by EXIM News in 2014. He is a Fellow of the Operational Research Society of India, and Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport. He has teaching experience at universities in India, USA, Canada, Yugoslavia, Singapore, Tanzania and UAE.
 
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He is a member of the Global Future Council on Mobility of the World Economic Forum, Executive Council of the National Aviation University, and of the Board of Directors of six companies in the fields of infrastructure, logistics and education. Overall, he has been on the Board of 12 companies. He has offered consultancy services to over 100 organizations including multilateral agencies. He has served on various government policy making and advisory committees for the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Shipping, Cabinet Secretariat, Comptroller and Auditor General, the Planning Commission and various State Governments.
 
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Air Marshal Ajit Bhonsle, diplomat Sujata Mehta take oath as Members, UPSC

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Air Marshal Ajit Shankarrao Bhonsle and career diplomat Sujata Mehta took the oath of office and secrecy as Members, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) here yesterday.
 
The oath was administered by Prof. David R. Syiemlieh, Chairman, UPSC, an official press release said.
 
Air Marshal Bhonsle, 60, has done M.Sc., MBA and M. Phil from National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College, College of Defence Management and National Institute of Defence Studies, Japan. He has rich and varied experience in Command and Staff appointments during the 39 years of service in the Indian Air Force (IAF). His forte is Flying Operations, Pre-commissioning Military Training & Education, Infrastructure development, Counter Intelligence, Capacity Building of Training Institutions, Defence Civilian Personnel Management, Cyber Security and Aviation Safety.
 
He is the recipient of two Presidential Awards:- Vishisht Seva Medal and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal. 
 
Ms. Mehta belongs to the 1980 batch of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS). Born on March 30, 1957, she has done M. Phil. in Political Science. She has served in Indian missions in Moscow, Dhaka and at the United Nations in New York. She also served on deputation to the United Nations in Gaza and New York. She served as Ambassador to Spain and as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva before returning to Headquarters in July, 2013 as Additional Secretary and later Special Secretary. 
 
She was appointed Secretary(ER) in Ministry of External Affairs in February, 2014 and as Secretary(West) in the Ministry in January, 2016.
 
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Former RAW chief appointed OSD (Neighbourhood Studies) in NSC Secretariat

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The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Mr. Rajinder Khanna, former Secretary, Research & Analysis Wing, Cabinet Secretariat, as Officer on Special Duty (Neighbourhood Studies) in the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS).
 
Mr. Khanna, who was appointed as Secretary (R) on December 20, 2014, is an officer of the RAS, 1978 batch.
 
The appointment is on contract basis, on standard terms and conditions applicable in similar cases, by temporarily upgrading the vacant post of Additional Secretary to that of a Secretary for a period of one year or until further orders, whichever is earlier, an official press release added.
 
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Vikas Swarup appointed as High Commissioner to Canada

Vikas Swarup
Vikas Swarup
Mr. Vikas Swarup, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, in the rank of Additional Secretary, has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Canada.
 
Mr. Swarup, an officer of the 1986 batch of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and a well-known author, is expected to take up his assignment shortly.
 
He is, in particular, known for his novel Q&A, which was adopted in film as Slumdog Millionaire, the winner of the Best Film for the year 2009 at the Academy Awards, the Golden Globe Awards and BAFTA Awards. His other novels include Six Suspects and The Accidental Apprentice.
 
As a career diplomat, he has served in Indian missions in Turkey, the United States, Ethiopia, the United Kingdom, South Afica and Japan.
 
He was appointed as the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs in April 2015.
 
Born in Allahabad in a family of lawyers, Mr. Swarup studied at the Allahabad University. 
 
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Arun Kumar appointed as Secretary, Ministry of Mines

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Mr. Arun Kumar, Special Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, has been appointed as the new Secretary, Ministry of Mines on the superannuation of incumbent Balvender Kumar.
 
Mr. Arun Kumar is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1983 batch (Assam-Meghalaya cadre).
 
An official press release said that the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) had also approved the appointment of Mr. Binoy Kumar, IAS (TG:83), Director General, Directorate General of Supplies & Disposals (DGS&D), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, in the same position in the rank and pay of Secretary, by temporarily upgrading the post for a period of two years on until further orders.
 
Mr. R. Sridharan, IAS (KN:83), Special Secretary, Ministry of Mines, has been appointed as Member (Finance), Space Commission, in the rank and pay of Secretary, by restoring the post to the level of Secretary.
 
Mr. Raghvendra Singh, IAS (WB:83) Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare as Director General, National Archives of India, Ministry of Culture, in the rank and pay of Secretary, by temporarily upgrading the post to the level of Secretary for a period of two years or until further orders.
 
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Ravi Shankar concurrently accredited as High Commissioner to Rwanda

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Mr. Ravi Shankar, presently High Commissioner of India to Uganda, has been concurrently accredited as the country's High Commissioner to Rwanda.
 
Mr. Shankar, an officer of the 1995 batch of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), will have residence in Kampala, Uganda, a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said.
 
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Narinder Chauhan appointed as Ambassador to Philippines

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Ms. Narinder Chauhan (lFS : 1985), presently Ambassador of lndia to Serbia has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to the Philippines.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs also said that Mr.  Subir Dutta, presently in the Embassy of India, Vientiane has been appointed as the next Ambassador to Madagascar.
 
Both officers are expected to take charge of their new assignments shortly, the release added.
 
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