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Ratan Tata conferred Honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Pepperdine University

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Mr Ratan N Tata, Chairman of the Tata Group, was conferred with the degree of Honorary Doctor of Laws by the President and Board of Regents of Pepperdine University, Malibu, California in the United States.


The degree was presented to him at a formal ceremony at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel here on September 3.


Presenting the degree, Mr Andrew K Benton, President of the University, said Mr Tata was a shining example of what it meant to be a successful businessman.


He said Mr Tata was a role model for thousands of workers not only in India but around the world, a champion of free enterprise and a humanitarian whose philanthropic work had benefited disadvantaged men, women and childen of all ages and nationalities.


"But he also has been an inspiration for countless students and young people, showing them, through his own personal experience, that they can indeed realize their dreams and lead lives of purpose, service, and leadership in whatever career path they choose to follow," he said.


"Mr Ratan Tata’s accomplishments extend well beyond the corporate office to the community at large in India. Therefore, in recognition of your achievements and lifetime of service to your country, your business associates, your charitable concerns, and your family and friends, we in the Pepperdine Community are pleased and extremely honored to confer upon you this Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree," he said.


Mr. Tata has served as Chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group, since 1991. He also sits on the advisory boards of several international corporations that includes Mitsubishi, Rolls Royce and the Monetary Authority of Singapore and also serves as a director of Fiat and Alcoa. He chairs two of the largest philanthropic trusts in India (Sir Ratan Tata trust and Sir Dorabji Tata trust) and holds leadership positions in many charitable and national service institutions, such as the Prime Minister’s Council on Trade and Industry and the Court of the Indian Institute of Science. He is also active in Global Business Council and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s India for HIV/AIDS initiatives.



Mr Tata is a graduate of Cornell University and has completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School. He has also been conferred an honorary doctorate in Business Administration by Ohio State University, an honorary doctorate in Technology by the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, an honorary doctorate in Science by the University of Warwick, and an honorary fellowship by the London School of Economics.


In 2008, the Government of India honored Mr. Tata with its second-highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan.


Founded in 1937, Pepperdine University is a leading independent Christian university and consists of Seaver College and four professional schools, the Graziadio School of Business and Management, the Graduate School of Education and Psychology, the School of Law, and the School of Public Policy.


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Former Atomic Energy Commission chief Homi Sethna passes away

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Dr.Homi N Sethna
Dr.Homi N Sethna

Former Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Chairman Homi Nusservanji Sethna, who was credited with being the driving force behind India's first nuclear test at Pokharan on May 18, 1974, passed away at his Malabar Hills residence here late last night after a prolonged illness.


The end came around 2315 hours yesterday, sources in the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) said.


He was 86. He is survived by his son Rustam and daughter Meher Dadabhoy. The funeral will take place tomorrow, they said.


The DAE said Dr Sethna was an eminent chemical engineer who made vital contributions to nuclear materials development and production over the entire nuclear fuel cycle.


Born in 1924, Dr Sethna did his schooling at the St. Xavier's High School at Fort in Mumbai and obtained B.Sc. (Tech) degree from the University Department of Chemical Technology, Bombay University in 1944 before going to study at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in the United States for the MSE degree in 1946.


He worked for the Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) in the United Kingdom for some time before returning to India in 1949 and joining the Atomic Energy Commission.


His first major assignment there was the construction of a plant for the extraction of rare earths from monazite at Alwaye in Kerala in 1952, followed by a plant for producing pure thorium nitrate at Trombay in 1955. The commissioning of the Uranium Metal Plant (1959) and Plutonium Plant (1964) at Trombay and Jaduguda Uranium Mill (1966) were regarded as very creditable achievements that followed in quick succession. All these were the first of their kind in the country.


Dr Sethna was Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) during 1975-72 when the plan for the construction of India's largest research reactor, Dhruva, was conceived.


During his tenure as Chairman of AEC from 1972-83, the peaceful nuclear experiment (PNE) at Pokhran was successfully carried out at Pokhran in the Rajashtan desert on May 18, 1974.


This resulted in the isolation of India from the rest of the world in the field of nuclear science and technology, but Dr Sethna steered the country's atomic energy programme through this difficult period with elan.


It is during this period that the indigenisation of the pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR) technology was successfully carried out by the DAE.


"He had a remarkable grasp of details across a range of technology," the DAE said in a statement. "Dr Sethna will always be remembered in the DAE family as an excellent engineer, a leader and a great visionary," it added.


The Government honoured him in 1975, along with two other top scientists, Dr Raja Ramanna, who later became AEC Chairman, and Dr Nag Chaudhari, head of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) with the Padma Vibhushan, the nation's second highest civilian award.


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P K Misra takes over as new Secretary, Steel

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Mr P. K. Misra, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1976 batch (Uttar Pradesh cadre), has taken over as the new Secretary, Ministry of Steel.


Mr Misra has succeeded Mr Atul Chaturvedi. He was until now the Special Secretary and Establishment Officer in the Ministry of Personnel and Training.


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Suresh Kumar Kait made Additional Judge of Delhi High Court

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The President has appointed Mr Suresh Kumar Kait to be an Additional Judge of the Delhi High Court, an official press release said here today.


The release said the appointment would be for a period of two years with effect from September 5, 2010.


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Mukul Joshi assumes charge as Secretary, Pharmaceuticals

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Mr Mukul Joshi has taken over as Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers.


Mr Joshi is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1975 batch (Punjab cadre). Prior to this, he was Secretary, Inter-State Council Secretariat, Ministry of Home Affairs.


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Sutanu Behuria is new Secretary, Fertilisers

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Mr Sutanu Behuria has taken over as the Secretary, Department of Fertilisers in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers.


Mr Behuria is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1976 batch (Himachal Pradesh cadre). Before this, he was Special Secretary and Financial Adviser in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.


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Uday Kumar Varma is new Secretary, MSME

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Mr Uday Kumar Varma, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1976 batch (Madhya Pradesh cadre), has taken over as the Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).


He has succeeded Mr Dinesh Rai, who superannuated on August 31.


Mr Varma has a B.Sc. (Hons.) degree from the Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi and a Master's in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, United States. He also has a post-graduate diploma in French language.


He had been awarded a gold medal for obtaining the highest position in the University and another gold medal at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administrtion on completion of his training.


At the Centre, Mr Varma has served as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and was until recently the Special Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.


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Arvind Kumar joins MTS as COO, UP Circle

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MTS, the mobile telephony services brand of Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd (SSTL), has announced the appointment of Mr Arvind Kumar as the Chief Operating Officer of its Uttar Pradesh (East and West) circle.


Mr Kumar will report directly to Mr. Vsevolod Rozanov, President and CEO of the company, a press release from MTS said.


In his last assignment, Mr. Kumar was the Hub Head for Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir at Reliance Communications.


He is a commerce graduate from University of Delhi, and holds a post-graduate diploma in Marketing and Sales Management from the Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi.


SSTL is a joint venture between Sistema of Russia and the Shyam Group of India. Sistema is the majority shareholder in this joint venture with a 74% equity stake; the Shyam Group holds a 23.5% stake and the remaining 2.5% is publicly held. SSTL has been allocated spectrum to provide mobile telephony services in all the 22 circles across the country.


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Khullar concurrently accredited as Ambassador to Montenegro

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Mr Dinkar Khullar, currently Indian Ambassador to Austria, has been concurrently accredited as the country's Ambassador to Montenegro.


An official press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr Khullar would have residence in Vienna.


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Arup Roy Choudhury takes over as CMD, NTPC Limited

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Arup Roy Choudhury
Arup Roy Choudhury

Mr Arup Roy Choudhury today took over as the Chairman and Managing Director of public sector power producer NTPC Limited.

Mr Roy Choudhury has succeeded Mr R S Sharma, who superannuated yesterday.

A civil engineer from the Birla Institute of Technology (BIT), Mesra, Ranchi, with a post-graduation in management from IIT, Mr Roy Choudhury was earlier the Chairman and Managing Director of the public sector National Buildings Construction Corporation. He has also been elected Chairman of the Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE).

Mr Roy Choudhury, 53, started his career in 1979 and has worked in public and private sector companies such as RITES, IRCON and DLF.

He is at present pursuing a doctorate from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, an NTPC press release added.

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Brijeshwar Singh gets 3-month extension as NHAI Chairman

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Mr Brijeshwar Singh, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1975 batch (Tamil Nadu cadre), has been given an extension of three months as Chairman of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).


An official press release said the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet had approved the re-employment of Mr Singh in the position on contract basis for a period of three months from September 1 or till a regular incument takes over, whichever is earlier.


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Nalin Nayyar appointed Head of India Investment Banking at Religare Capital Markets

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Religare Capital Markets Limited (RCML), the Investment Banking and Institutional Securities arm of financial services group Religare Enterprises Limited (REL), today said it had appointed Mr Nalin Nayyar as Head of India Investment Banking.


Mr Nayyar was previously with Citigroup Global Markets Pvt. Ltd. where he was a Managing Director in the Investment Bank, responsible for coverage of key relationships in the industrials sector, including mining and metals and capital goods. Before that, he was with Lehman Brothers in India and London.


According to a press release from Religare, Mr Nayyar brings a combined nineteen years of investment banking experience across the United States, Europe and Asia. He will report to Mr Tarun Kataria, CEO RCML India and to Mr Sutha Kandiah, Global Head of Investment Banking based in Singapore.


"We are delighted to have Nalin join the team as the head of investment banking of our Indian businesses," Mr Kataria said.


"At RCML, we are confident that he will be provide the leadership required to build out and drive our rapidly growing Investment Banking business in India. Nalin's experience together with the global banking team will allow us provide significant value to our clients as they look to acquire offshore assets and raise growth capital in the global markets. The addition of Nalin to our team is a significant step in reaffirming our commitment to create a market leading emerging markets focused global Investment Banking and Institutional Securities business," he said.


Mr Kandiah said Mr Nayyar would play a key role in steering the investment banking franchise to a leadership position in India.


"The appointment of Nalin to the helm of our Indian investment banking team, in addition to the quality of senior hires that we have made globally in the past year, underscores our commitment to developing a world-class emerging markets focused global investment banking franchise," he added.


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Salauddin Ahmed appointed Chief Secretary in Rajasthan

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Salahuddin Ahmed.
Salahuddin Ahmed.

Mr Salauddin Ahmed, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1975 batch, was today appointed as the new Chief Secretary of Rajasthan.

Mr Ahmed, 58, who is currently the Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture and Horticulture, in the State Government, will succeed Mr T Srinivasan, who will retire tomorrow.

Mr Ahmed, who has done his M.A in Modern History, has previously served as Chairman and Managing Director, Rajasthan Financial Corporation, and as Principal Secretary in various departments such as Food, Civil Supply and Consumer Affairs and Literature, Art and Culture in the State Government.

He has also held the positions of Chairman, Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation and Chairman and Managing Director Rajasthan State Minerals Development Corporation.

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Biren Nanda named India's Permanent Representative to ASEAN

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Biren Nanda
Biren Nanda

Mr Biren Nanda, Ambassador of India to Indonesia, has been appointed as India's next Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

ASEAN was established on August 8, 1967 by its founding fathers - Indonesia, Malaysia, Phillipines, Singapore and Thailand.

Brunei Darussalam joined the group in January 1984, followed by Vietnam in July 1995, Laos and Myanmar in July 1997 and Cambodia in April 1999.

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Harishankar Brahma named as third Election Commissioner

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Harishankar Brahma
Harishankar Brahma

Former Union Power Secretary Harishankar Brahma was today appointed as the third Election Commissioner in the Election Commission of India.

"The President is pleased to appoint Mr Harishankar Brahma as the Election Commissioner in the Election Commission of India with effect from the date he assumes the office," an official press release said here.

Mr Brahma, 60, a 1975 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer (Andhra Pradesh cadre), belongs to Assam.

The post of an Election Commissioner had fallen vacant recently after the retirement of Mr Navin Chawla as the Chief Election Commissioner and Mr S Y Qureshi's appointment as his successor. Mr V S Sampath is the other Election Commissioner in the three-member Commission.

Incidentally, Mr Brahma had succeeded Mr Sampath as Power Secretary when the latter joined the Election Commission in May last year. He was earlier Special Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Before that, he had held various assignments in different sectors in the Government of India and the Government of Andhra Pradesh, including energy sector.

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Maj Gen Pawar appointed VC of LNUPE, Gwalior

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Maj Gen Sarbjit Singh Pawar has been appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of the Lakshmibai National University of Physical Education, Gwalior, an autonomous institution attached to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.


Maj Gen Pawar will succeed Maj Gen S N Mukherjee, whose extended tenure will expire on September 23. He retired from the Indian Army on July 31 this year after a career of about 38 years.


An official press release said that he was instrumental in etablishing a Defence Services Staff College for the Botswana Defence Force. He was awarded the Vishisht Sewa Medal by the President for distinguished service of exceptional order on Republic Day 2010.


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Justice Bhagwati Prasad appointed Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court

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Justice Bhagwati Prasad
Justice Bhagwati Prasad

The President has appointed Mr Justice Bhagwati Prasad, a Judge of the Gujarat High Court, to be the Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court.

An official press release said here today that the appointment would be with effect from the date he assumed charge of his office.

Mr Justice Prasad, 61, did his B.Sc. from Government College, Hissar in 1969, LL.B. in 1972 from Doongar College, Bikaner and LL.M. in 1985-86 from the University of Jodhpur.

He enrolled as an advocate on September 2, 1972 with the Rajasthan Bar Council and practised as an advocate for about 24 years. He was elevated as a Judge of the Rajasthan High Court on April 6, 1996. He became a Judge of the Gujarat High Court on February 7, 2008.

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P Sampath named Chief Financial Officer of Essar Energy

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Essar Energy, a part of the Essar Group, today announced it had appointed Mr P Sampath as its Chief Financial Officer in succession to Mr Gerry Bacon, who has decided to leave the company at the end of September.


Mr Sampath has been Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Essar Oil Limited since August 2008, a press release from the company said.


Prior to this, he has held a number of senior finance roles, including Group CFO for RPG Enterprises Limited and Managing Director of GHCL Limited. A commerce graduate from the Madras University, he is a Fellow Member of the Institute of Cost Works Accountants of India and a Fellow Member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India.


According to the release, Mr Sampath will be based at the group’s offices in London and will report to Mr Naresh Nayyar, Chief Executive Officer. The appointment is effective from 1 September 2010.


"Mr Sampath has a strong track record of providing strategic financial and commercial advice across a number of industries and on a broad range of issues. He has a strong background in accounting, tax, corporate structuring and funding and has an excellent knowledge of the business from his current role and his involvement in the IPO of Essar Energy plc," Mr Nayyar said.


Mr Sampath said, "I am delighted to be stepping in to the CFO role with Essar Energy. Essar is an excellent organisation with great culture and values and I am looking to the challenges that this new role will bring."


Mr Bacon, who had joined Essar Energy in January this year, has decided to return to academia, the release added.


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Debabrata Saha appointed as next Ambassador to Italy

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Debabrata Saha
Debabrata Saha

Mr Debabrata Saha, currently India's Ambassador to Ukraine, has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to Italy.

The Ministry of External Affairs also announced that Mr Rajiva Misra, at present Joint Secretary in the Ministry, had been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Slovak Republic. He will succeed Ms Homai Saha.

Both Mr Saha and Mr Misra are expected to take up their assignments shortly, the Ministry added.

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Atulya Misra appointed Chairman of Chennai Port Trust

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The Government has appointed Mr Atulya Misra, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1988 batch (Tamil Nadu cadre), as the Chairman of the Chennai Port Trust.


An official press release said the appointment would for a period of five years with effect from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier.


Mr Misra is at present posted as Secretary, Transport Department, Government of Tamil Nadu.


The appointment will be subject to the final outcome of a court case (writ petition 12259/09) in the Delhi High Court, the release added.


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Sam Pitroda to be Chairman of National Innovation Council

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File photo of Sam Pitroda.
File photo of Sam Pitroda.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today approved the setting up of a National Innovation Council to draw up a road map for the Decade of Innovation (2010-2020).

An official press release said the Council would be headed by Mr Sam Pitroda, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations.

It said the Council had been given the mandate to evolve an Indian model of innovation focusing on inclusive growth and creating an appropriate eco-system conducive to fostering inclusive innovation. It will delineate appropriate policy initiatives within the government required to spur innovation. It will also promote the setting up of Sectoral Innovation Councils and State Innovation Councils.

While encouraging all important sectors of the economy to innovate, it will take special efforts to facilitate innovation by micro, small and medium enterprises. Innovation in public services delivery and encouraging multi-disciplinary and globally competitive approaches for innovations would be focused on by the Council, the release said.

Other members of the Council are: Dr. K. Kasturirnagan and Mr Arun Maira, Members of the Planning Commission, Dr. Ramesh Mashelkar, former Director General of CSIR, Mr Kiran Karnik, former President, NASSCOM, Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty of the Narayana Hrudyalaya, Mr R. Gopalakishnan, Executive Director, Tata Sons, Ms Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson, Biocon, Mr Shekhar Kapur, Film Director, Mr Saurabh Srivastava, Chairman, CA Technologies, Mr Anil K. Gupta, Professor IIM Ahmedabad, Prof. Sujatha Ramadorai, Professor, TIFR, Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, Mr Amit Mitra, Secretary General, FICCI, Dr. Samir Brahmachari, Director General, CSIR and Mr Sanjay Dhande, Director, IIT Kanpur.

Mr R. Gopalakrishnan, Additional Secretary in the Prime Minister's Office, would be the Member Secretary of the Council, the release added.

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Janaki Venkataraman passes away at 89

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Mrs Janaki Venkataraman, wife of former President R Venkataraman, passed away at a private hospital in the capital this afternoon after a brief illness.


She was 89. She is survived by three daughters - Padma Venkataraman, Vijaya Ramachandran and Lakshmi Venkataraman. Her husband had passed away in January 2009. The funeral will be held here tomorrow, sources said.


Vice-President M Hamid Ansari was amongst those who condoled the death of Mrs Venkataraman.


"I am deeply grieved to learn of the sad demise of Smt. Janaki Venkataraman wife of former President of India, Shri R. Venkataraman. My wife joins me in sending our heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family. We pray to the Almighty to grant them the strength and fortitude to withstand this loss," he said.


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Atul Sobti steps down as CEO and MD of Ranbaxy Laboratories

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Atul Sobti
Atul Sobti

Pharmaceutical major Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited today annunced that Mr Atul Sobti would step down from the positions of CEO and Managing Director of the Company with effect from August 19.

Mr Arun Sawhney, currently Ranbaxy's President, Global Pharmaceutical Business, has been appointed as Managing Director, effective August 20, a press release from the company said.

The company gave no reasons for Mr Sobti's decision to step down. The release said the company's Board of Directors noted its sincere appreciation of Mr. Sobti’s efforts during his tenure as CEO and MD as well as for building upon the strong legacy of Ranbaxy as a premier global company.

"We are extremely grateful for the significant contribution Mr. Sobti has made to Ranbaxy ever since he joined the company," Ranbaxy Chairman Tsutomu Une said.

"Under his leadership as CEO and Managing Director, Ranbaxy has realized various opportunities to repeat the strong operating performance while continuing to manage key challenges." Dr. Une also said,

"We are pleased to appoint Mr. Sawhney as the Managing Director, further advancing the company with the decades of global experience he has in the industry," he said.

Mr. Sawhney, with over three decades of global experience with leading Indian and global pharmaceutical companies, has held the role of President, Global Pharmaceuticals Business, at Ranbaxy, since January 2010, and has been a senior executive at the Company from April 2008.

He is one of the founder members of the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil) and has been an active member on the committees of the prestigious Indian Drug Manufacturer’s Association and Bulk Drug Manufacturers Association (India).

Arun Sawhney
Arun Sawhney

This is the second major change at the top in Ranbaxy after Mr Malvinder Singh and his brother Shivinder Singh, grandsons of Ranbaxy founder Bhai Mohan Singh, sold their entire 34.8 per cent stake in the pharmaceutical giant to Japanese pharmaceutical giant Daiichi Sankyo in June 2008 for nearly Rs 10,000 crore.

Though Mr Malvinder Singh had no stake in Ranbaxy after the sale, it was decided then that he would continue as CEO for the rest of his five-year term.

But, in May last year, Mr Malvinder Singh, who was Chairman, CEO and Managing Director of the company, stepped down from his positions suddenly and Mr Sobti took over as CEO and MD, while Dr Une was elected as the Chairman of the Board.

Ranbaxy, India's largest pharmaceutical company, is an integrated, research based, international pharmaceutical company producing a wide range of quality, affordable generic medicines. It is now a subsidiary of Daiichi Sankyo.

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Vinod Kumar new High Commissioner to Fiji

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Mr Vinod Kumar has been appointed as India's next High Commissioner to Fiji, an official press release said here today.


Mr Kumar, at present a Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, was expected to take up his assignment shortly, the release added.


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Hemant Kumar Srivastava appointed Addl. Judge of Patna High Court

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The President has appointed Mr Hemant Kumar Srivastava as an additional judge of the Patna High Court.


An official press release said here today that the appointment would be for a period of two years with effect from the date he assumed charge of his office.


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