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Balwinder Singh joins as Special Director, CBI

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Balwinder Singh
Balwinder Singh

Mr Balwinder Singh, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1976 batch (Andhra Pradesh cadre) has been appointed as Special Director in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Prior to his elevation, he was holding the post of Additional Director in CBI and looking after the Economic Offences and Bank Securities & Frauds Division, in addition to anti-corruption work in South and Western India.

A CBI press release said Mr Singh had served in the CBI earlier from 1990 to 2000. In Andhra Pradesh, he had served as Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad. He was also Additional Secretary in the Central Vigilance Commission, New Delhi.

Mr Singh has done an M. Phil. in Public Administration from Punjab University. He was decorated with the Police Medal for Meritorious Services in 1992 and the President\'s Police Medal for Distinguished Services in 1998, the release added.

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Pankaj Desai is new MD of Kotak Life Insurance

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Mr. Pankaj Desai has taken over as the Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance Limited (Kotak Life Insurance).


Mr Desai, who was Executive Director of the company since 2006, has succeeded Mr. Gaurang Shah who has moved to the parent Kotak Mahindra Group as the head of its Domestic and International Asset Management and Life Insurance businesses.


A chartered accountant, Mr Desai has been part of the Kotak Mahindra Group in varying capacities for over a decade. He joined Kotak Life Insurance in 2006 in the capacity of Executive Director.



In that assignment, he was responsible for Sales, Training, Distribution and Channel Marketing functions of the company.


"My focus would be to build on the strong business franchise and goodwill we have created over the last ten years," Mr Desai said.


"We will work towards sustained value creation and efficient use of capital. Special emphasis will be placed on bettering the customer proposition, further cost reduction and better cost management, factors which in the past have stood us in good stead," he said.


Mr Shah sad the life insurance industry in India was undergoing rapid changes influenced by the dynamic economic environment, pro-active regulation, increasing competition and increasingly financially literate and discerning customers.


"Pankaj played a stellar role in ensuring that Kotak Life attained profitability in the last year and enhancing profits this year. His demonstrated business acumen combined with his in depth understanding of the sector and his pulse on the future makes him best suited to steer the company to greater heights," he added.


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Barclays Shared Services names Sameer Chadha as new CEO

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Barclays Shared Services (BSS), a 100% subsidiary of Barclays Bank, today announced the appointment of Mr Sameer Chadha, currently Chief Operating Officer, as the company's Chief Executive Officer.


Mr Chadha replaces Mr Paul Riley, the incumbent chief executive who moves to another role within the Barclays Group, a press release from the bank said.


BSS, now in its third year of operation has two offices in Noida and one in Chennai, it said.


"I am delighted to announce the appointment of Sameer as the next Chief Executive of BSS, India," Mr Jim Milby, Global Operations Officer, Global Retail Banking, Barclays, said,


"Sameer has been with the company since its initial phases and is ideally positioned to continue the good work and build on the foundation created by Paul and take BSS to the next level of growth," he said.


According to the release, Mr Chadha joined BSS in April 2008 as the COO. He has close to twenty years of experience, predominantly in financial services and worked with Lehman Brothers before joining BSS in its initial stages.


Mr Chadha is a Chartered Accountant and has a Bachelors of Commerce degree from Sri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), University of Delhi.


"I am both honored and excited to be chosen to lead the company. I have enjoyed my journey to date alongside, Paul and the management team. We have built a great organization and I look forward to build on the strong foundation," Mr Chadha said.


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Naresh Kumar elected for fourth term as president of Petrotech Society

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Naresh Kumar
Naresh Kumar

Mr. Naresh Kumar, Managing Director, Jindal Drilling & Industries Ltd, has been re-elected as the President of Petrotech Society for the fourth consecutive term.

Petrotech Society is a non-profit organization whose members include major oil industry players such as Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum, Cairn India, Larsen & Toubro, Engineers India Ltd, GAIL, Oil India Limited and British Gas.

"India is the third largest consumer of oil in the Asia-Pacific region, lagging only behind China and Japan. However, in production, out of the total 3.14 million sq. km. of India's sedimentary area, only a small part of the total area has been extensively explored so far. It is imperative that more efforts are put on oil exploration. Petrotech Society is committed to further education and awareness in India's oil industry to help the country achieve energy independence," Mr Kumar said.

A mechanical engineer by background, Mr. Kumar has over 27 years of experience in the oil industry. Under his leadership, Jindal Drilling and Industries Ltd has emerged as one of the largest Indian private operators of jack-up rigs in India.

Mr. Kumar is the first and only Asian to be nominated as a member of the Executive Committee of Houston-based apex body, International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) in 2010.

He has been a member of the Planning Group on Restructuring of the Oil Industry ('R' Group) constituted by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.

Petrotech Society organises one of Asia's biggest biennial oil and gas conferences under the aegis of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. The event attracts delegates from over 45 countries and has an average delegate participation of more than 4000 high-profile industry professionals from across the globe, including oil ministers from various countries.

The 9th International Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition, Petrotech 2010, is due to be held here later this year from October 31-November 3. It will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and will have as its theme, "Global Energy Equilibrium".

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Rakesh Singh appointed Addl. Secretary, Financial Services

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The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Mr Rakesh Singh as the Additional Secretary, Department of Financial Services in the Ministry of Finance against the newly created post.


Mr Singh, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1978 batch (Punjab cadre), is at present the Additional Secretary, Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.


An official press release said the ACC had also approved the appointment of Mr G Mohan Kumar, IAS, Orissa cadre, 1979 batch, as Additional Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources.


Mr Kumar, who is currently in his cadre, will succeed Mr S Manoharan, who has retired, the release added.


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Prof Bhavik Bakshi named VC of TERI University

Prof. Bhavik R Bakshi
Prof. Bhavik R Bakshi

TERI University has appointed Prof. Bhavik R Bakshi, a well-known scientist, as its Vice-Chancellor who will oversee all academic and research activities at the institution.

Prof Bakshi has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and a Master's in Chemical Engineering Practice from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Bachelor of Engineering from the Department of Chemical Technology, University of Bombay.

Prior to joining TERI University, Prof. Bakshi was at the Ohio State University, in the United States, as Professor of Chemical and Bio-molecular Engineering. He has also been Visiting Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai.

Prof Bakshi has over 100 peer reviewed publications and research papers to his credit in the areas of Sustainability Science and Engineering, Process Systems Engineering, Complex and Multiscale Systems, Industrial Ecology, and Applied Statistics and has been speaking regularly at international conferences.

"I am delighted to welcome Prof Bakshi to this exciting position of leadership in our research-based institution of higher learning," Dr R K Pachauri, Chancellor of TERI University and Director-General of TERI, said.

"He is a dynamic and forward thinking individual with a wealth of experience. His dedication and commitment to education and research on sustainability science at the national and international levels is a great asset to our University, taking it closer to realising our vision of a university of excellence for this entire region. Professor Bakshi's return to India also demonstrates significantly that we can now attract talent back to India from the best institutions in the world," he said.

TERI University was granted "Deemed to be University" status by the University Grants Commission in October 1999. It offers Masters and Doctoral level programs in the areas of Public Policy & Sustainable Development, Infrastructure, Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Water Resources Management, Geoinformatics, Plant Biotechnology, Climate Science & Policy, Renewable Energy Engineering & Management, Business Sustainability and Development Practices.

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Asith Kumar Bhattacharjee next Indian Ambassador to Tajikistan

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Mr Asith Kumar Bhattacharjee, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs headquarters here, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Tajikistan.


An official press release said Mr Bhattacharjee, who will succeed Mr Amar Sinha, was expected to take up his assignment shortly.


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Hrushikesh Panda appointed Additional Secretary, Panchayati Raj

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The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Mr Hrushikesh Panda, an officer of the 1979 batch of the Indian Administrative Service (Orissa cadre), as Additional Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj.


An official press release said Mr Panda, presently in the cadre, would succeed Dr J M Phatak.


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HCL's founder-director S Raman passes away

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Mr S Raman, one of the HCL fellow promters and former President and Chief Operating Officer of HCL Technologies Ltd., passed away here this morning.


HCL sources said Mr Raman had been ailing for some time. He was 68. He is survived by his wife and a daughter.


Mr Raman, who started out as an engineer at DCM Ltd, joined the HCL founding team 34 years ago as a fellow-promoter and Technical Director of Hindustan Computers Ltd.


A statement from the company said that, from that time on, he not only conceptualized the products of Hindustan Computers but also created the manufacturing organization for them. some of his ideas like Relational Data Bases; Application Code Generators were way ahead of their time, it said.


When HCL forayed into IT services as a business, Mr Raman was responsible for architecting the business and translating the IT services vision to reality; a task which he did very successfully as President and COO of HCL Technologies Ltd till he retired in 2005 on health grounds.


He rejoined the company two years ago to lead HCL’s and the Shiv Nadar Foundation’s internal infrastructure projects.


Mr Shiv Nadar, Founder, HCL and Chairman, HCL Technologies Ltd said, "A soft spoken technocrat who led from the front, Raman will always be remembered for his gentle leadership, expansive vision and inspiring personality. He was my sounding board for more than 38 years and I will miss both his wisdom and his company".


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Navin Kumar appointed Urban Development Secretary

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Mr Navin Kumar, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1975 batch (Bihar cadre), has been appointed as the Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development.


Mr Kumar is currently the Principal Adviser in the Planning Commission. He will succeed Mr M Ramachandran, who retired yesterday.


An official press release said the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet had also approved the appointment of Mr Jayant Prasad, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1976 batch as Special Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs.

Justice Jainarayan Patel appointed Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court

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The President has appointed Mr Justice Jainarayan Patel, Judge of the Bombay High Court, as the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.


Mr Justice Patel will succeed Mr Justice Mohit Shah, who was earlier transferred as the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court.


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Justice Mohit Shah transferred as Chief Justice of Bombay High Court

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The President has, in consultation with the Chief Justice of India, transfered Mr Justice Mohit Shantilal Shah, Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court, as the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court.


An official press release said Mr Justice Shah had been directed to assume charge of his new office on or before July 10.


A separate announcement said the President had also appointed Mr Justice Ferdino Inacio Rebello, Judge of the Bombay High Court, as the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.


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Shaik Shakir Hussain new CEO of Haj Committee

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Dr Shaik Shakir Hussain, an officer of the Indian Revenue Service (IRS), has been appointed as the next Chief Executive Officer, Haj Committee of India, Mumbai.


An official press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Dr Hussain, currently the Additional Director of Income Tax, Hyderabad, would succeed Mr Mohammed Owais. He will have a tenure of three years with effect from July 1, it added.


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Maj Gen Pramod Behl is new DG Resettlement of Army

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Major General Pramod Behl has taken over the Director General Resettlement (DGR) of the Indian Army.


An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Pune, he was commissioned n the Grenadiers Regiment of the Infantry in 1976.


An official press release said Maj Gen Behl has held various important instructional, staff and command appointments.  He is a post-graduate from the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. He has undergone a large number of important courses including senior and higher command courses as well as Conflict Management Course in International Law at National Defence College, Sweden. 


The General Officer has commanded a unit on the Line of Control, a Brigade in the North East and another in the UN Mission in Congo. He has held instructional appointments at National Defence Academy, Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School, Defence Services Staff College as well as various staff appointments as Brigade Major of a Brigade, Colonel (War Games) in Army Training Command (ARTRAC), Colonel (Planning) of a Strike Corps.


Before his appointment as DGR, he served as Commandant, Assam Riffles Training Centre and later as DDG(MS) of National Cadet Corps, the release added.


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Former Union Minister Digvijay Singh passes away in London

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File photo of Digvijay Singh.
File photo of Digvijay Singh.

Former Union Minister Digvijay Singh, an independent member of the Lok Sabha from Banka in Bihar, died of brain haemorhage in a hospital in London today, his aides said here.

He was 54. He is survived by his wife and two daughters. Arrangements were being made to bring his body to Delhi by tomorrow, the aides told NetIndian.

Mr Singh, a former leader of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), had contested and won the 2009 Lok Sabha elections from Banka in Bihar as an independent candidate.

Mr Singh, who was President of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) since March, 1999, had gone to London to attend a meeting related to the Commonwealth Games to be hosted by Delhi in October this year.

He suffered a heart attack there on June 10 and was admitted to the St Thomas Hospital, where he breathed his last this morning (around noon IST), the sources added.

Born on November 14, 1955, Mr Singh was educated at the Patna University, the Jawaharlal University, Delhi and the Tokyo University.

He was a member of the Rajya Sabha from 1990-96, during which he served as Union Deputy Minister for Finance and then Deputy Minister for External Affairs.

He was also elected to the Lok Sabha thrice, the first time in 1998. He sered as Union Minister of State for Railways from October 1999 to July 2001, Minister of State for Commerce from July 2001 to August 2001 and again as Minister of State for Railways from September 2001 to June 2002.

He served as Minister of State for External Affairs in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government from July 2002 to May 2004.

Vice-President M Hamid Ansari expressed grief over the death of Mr Singh and said the former Union Minister had a significant record of service to the country and especially to the state of Bihar.

"He served the people with distinction during his many years in public life and always worked for the upliftment of poor and the downtrodden and earned the respect and admiration of the people for his dedication, sense of public service, innate simplicity and honesty. His services to the country shall always be remembered," he said.

In his condolence message to Mr Singh's wife, Ms Putul Kumari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described the MP from Banka as a widely respected leader who worked selflessly for the country, his State and the people.

"His three terms in the Lok Sabha and two in the Rajya Sabha bear testimony to his popularity among the people of Bihar.  He excelled as a Minister in the Central Government, showing remarkable administrative acumen.  A keen sportsman, Mr Singh also served as President of the National Rifle Association and Vice President of the Indian Olympic Association. 

"Mr Digvijay Singh will be remembered for his contribution to our society and our people in a variety of ways," the Prime Minister said.

Condoling his death, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar said the country had lost an eminent parliamentarian, able administrator and a farsighted political leader.

"Throughout his public life and during his various stints in key Ministries at the Centre, he was genuinely concerned about the issues relating to the masses, particularly those which affected the poor and the deprived. His contribution in different areas of national endeavor, including in the sports administration, was highly commendable," she said.

Minister of Railways Mamata Banerjee said Mr Singh was a dynamic politician who served the people with dedication and commitment. "He always worked tirelessly for the uplift of downtrodden and weaker sections of the society," she added.

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Justice Madan Lokur appointed Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court

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Justice Madan B. Lokur
Justice Madan B. Lokur

The President has appointed Mr Justice Madan Bhimarao Lokur, Judge of the Delhi High Court, as the Chief Justice of the Gauhati 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 Lokur, 56, an alumnus of the St Stephen's College, Delhi, obtained the LL.B. degree from the Faculty of Law, Delhi University in 1977 and enrolled as an advocate that year. He practised in the Supreme Court of India and the Delhi HIgh Court and has vast experience in Civil, Criminal, Constitutional, Revenue and Service laws.


He was appointed as Additional Solicitor General of India in July 1998. He was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Delhi High Court in February 1999 and a Permanent Judge of that High Court in July 1999. He had functioned as the Acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court from February 13 this year to May 21. He is due to retire on December 31, 2015.


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Satya Mann named next Ambassador to Angola

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Mr Satya P Mann, at present India's High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to Angola.


An official press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr Mann, who will succeed Mr A R Ghanashyam, was expected to take up his assignment shortly.


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Yogendra Pratap Singh to be India's first Ambassador to Niger

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Mr Yogendra Pratap Singh, currently the Consul-General of India at Mandalay in Myanmar, has been appointed as the country's first Ambassador to Niger.


An official press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said here today the earlier appointment of Mr Vinod Kumar Sachdeva to the position stood cancelled. Mr Singh is expected to take up his assignment shortly, it added.


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Justice M Yusuf Eqbal appointed Chief Justice of Madras High Court

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Hon'ble Mr. Justice M.Y.Eqbal
Hon'ble Mr. Justice M.Y.Eqbal

The President has appointed Mr Justice M Yusuf Eqbal, a Judge of the Jharkhand High Court, as the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court.


Ms Justice Rekha Manharlal Doshit, a Judge of the Gujarat High Court, has been appointed as the Chief Justice of the Patna High Court.


The appointments will be with effect from the date they assume charge of their offices, an official press release added.


Mr Justice Eqbal, 59, had enrolled as an advocate in 1975 and initially practised exclusively in civil side in civil courts in Ranchi. He shifted practice to the Ranchi Bench of the Patna High Court in 1986 and became Government Pleader there in 1990. In 1993, he became Government Advocate in the High Court. He was appointed as a permanent Judge of the Patna High Court on May 9, 1996. In November, 2000, he became a Judge of the Jharkhand High Court.


Ms Justice Doshit, 58, enrolled as an advocate with the Bar Council of Gujarat in April, 1977. She was elevated to the Bench of the Gujarat High Court as Additional Judge in September, 1995 and confirmed as Permanent Judge in June, 1997.


The President has also appointed Mr Tarun Kumar Gupta, Mr Ragunath Bhattacharya, Mr Asim Kumar Ray, Mr Mrinal Kanti Chaudhuri and Mr Kanchan Chakraborty to be judges of the Calcutta High Court, in that order of seniority, with effect from the dates they assume charge of their respective offices.


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J M Phatak appointed CMD of REC

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Dr J M Phatak, currently Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, has been appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director of the public sector Rural Electrification Corporation Limited in the vacancy of Mr P Uma Shankar.


An official press release said here today that Dr Phatak's appointment had been approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).


Dr Phatak, an officer of the 1978 batch of the Indian Administrative Service (Maharashtra cadre), would have the rank and pay of Additional Secretary.


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Ashok Attri named next Ambassador to Denmark

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Mr Ashok Kumar Attri, currently the Consul General of India at Chicago, has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to Denmark.


An official press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr Attri, who will succeed Mr Yogesh Kumar Gupta, was expected to take up his new assignment shortly.


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Bhaswati Mukherjee appointed Ambassador to the Netherlands

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Ms Bhaswati Mukherjee, currently India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Paris, has been appointed as the next Ambassador to the Netherlands.


An official press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Ms Mukherjee, who will succeed Mr Manbir Singh, was expected to take up her assignment shortly.


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T C A Anant appointed Chief Statistician of India

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Prof T C A Anant, Professor, Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, has been appointed as the Chief Statistician of India (Secretary, National Statistical Commission).


He will have concurrent charge as Secretary, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, an official press release said here.


It said Prof Anant's appointment was cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister.


The appointment will be for a period of five years from the date of assumption of charge of the post, or until further orders, whichever is earlier, subject to the outcome of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT)/Court cases, the release added.


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Justice M.N. Rao new head of National Commission for Backward Classes

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Mr Justice (Retd.) Makani Narayan Rao, former Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court, today assumed office as the Chairperson of the National Commission for Backward Classes.


Mr Justice Rao, who hails from Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and Law from Andhra University and a Master's in Law from Madras University.


He practised in the Andhra Pradesh High Court prior to his appointment as District and Sessions Judge in 1973. Between 1979 and 1983 he worked as Secretary (Law and Legislative Affairs), Government of Andhra Pradesh.

He was appointed as a permanent Judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in July 1986. He served as the Chief Justice of High Court of Himachal Pradesh from November 1997 to April 1998.

The National Commission for Backward Classes was set up under the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993, pursuant to the direction of the Supreme Court in the Mandal case judgement for setting up a national body for Backward Classes at the Centre as a permanent body.


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Gauri Shankar Gupta to be Ambassador to Bosnia, Herzegovina

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Mr Gauri Shankar Gupta, Ambassador of India to Hungary, has been concurrently accredited as the country's Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina.


An official press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr Gupta would have residence at Budapest.


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