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Atul Chaturvedi is new Steel Secretary

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File photo of Atul Chaturvedi.
File photo of Atul Chaturvedi.

Mr Atul Chaturvedi, at present the Secretary, Department of Fertilisers, has been appointed as the Secretary in the Ministry of Steel from October 31.

Mr Chaturvedi, who is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1974 batch (Uttar Pradesh cadre), will succeed Mr P K Rastogi, who will retire from service on that date.

Mr S Krishnan, an IAS officer of the 1975 batch (Uttarakhand cadre), at present Special Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, will take Mr Chaturvedi's place in the Department of Fertilisers, an official announcement said.

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Yogendra Kumar to be Ambassador to Phillipines

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Mr Yogendra Kumar, currently Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) here, has been appointed as India's next Ambassador to the Phillipines.

Mr Kumar, an officer of the 1977 batch of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), will succeed Mr Rajeet Mitter and was expected to take up his assignment shortly, an MEA press release added.

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Madhavan Nair is new President of International Academy of Astronautics

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File photo of ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair.
File photo of ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman G Madhavan Nair has taken over as the President of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).

Dr Madhavan Nair, the first Indian space expert to become president of the academy, assumed charge yesterday during the General Assembly of the IAA in Daejeon, South Korea, an ISRO press release said. He was the Vice-President of Scientific Activites of the IAA for the last four years.

The IAA, with its headquarters in Paris, is an independent organisation of distinguished individuals elected by their peers for their outstanding contributions to astronautics and the exploration of space.

The IAA organises conferences and collaborates with other partner societies. Although the IAA has many connections to other similar organisations, it is the only international academy of elected members in the broad area of astronautics and space. IAA membership consists of individuals who have distinguished themselves in one of the fields of astronautics or one of the branches of science of fundamental importance for the exploration of space.

The academy, founded in 1960, today has a total of about 1200 members from 85 countries. It is an honorary society with an action agenda. The academy has a strong scientific programme this year with about 16 stand-alone conferences around the world.

Dr Madhavan Nair, who is also Secretary, Department of Space in the Government of India, is also the President of the Astronautical Society of India (ASI).

He started his career as Avionics Project Manager in the first Indian launch vehicle project. He was responsible for design, development and operationalisation of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), the work-horse launch vehicle of India. He held various responsibilities in ISRO, including Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre and Director of Liquid Propulsion System Centre.

He became Chairman, ISRO in 2003, and has 25 successful missions so far during his tenure. He operationalised multiple satellite launches using PSLV. His most significant contribution is the successful launch of India’s first mission to the Moon, the Chandrayaan-1.

The Government honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 1998 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2009.

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Sudesh Kumar joins Railway Board as Member

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Mr Sudesh Kumar has assumed charge as Member (Electrical) of the Railway Board, an official press release said here today.

Prior to this, he was posted as General Manager, North Central Railways, with headquarters at Allahabad.

An officer of the 1972 batch of the Indian Railway Engineering Service, Mr Kumar is an engineering graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur.

In his long career in the Indian Railways, Mr Kumar has served in various important positions, including as Chief Electrical Engineer South-Central Railway, Divisional Railway Manager, Asansol and Additional Member (Electrical) in the Railway Board.

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Bishnoi to be Ambassador to Ethiopia

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Mr Bhagwant Singh Bishnoi, at present Deputy Chief of Mission in Bangkok, has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to Ethiopia.

Mr Bishnoi, an officer of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), 1983 batch, will succeed Mr Gurjit Singh. He is expected to take up his assignment shortly, an official statement added.

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Vijay Kelkar elected Chairman of Forum of Federations

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Dr. Vijay Kelkar, Chairman of the 13th Finance Commission has been unanimously elected as Chairman of the Forum of Federations, an international organization headquartered in Ottawa which seeks to strengthen democratic governance by promoting dialogue on the practices, principles, and possibilities of federalism through partner governments.

The Forum builds international networks and fosters the exchange of experience on federal governance with a strong focus on fiscal federalism. The Forum also disseminates knowledge and technical advice of interest to existing federations and of benefit to countries seeking to introduce federal elements into their governance structures and constitutions. Thus, the Forum deals not only with governments and administrations, but also with civil society organizations in sharing federal knowledge and promoting a federal spirit in a society.

India, represented through the Inter State Council, is a partner government since 2005 in the Forum, which includes Canada, Australia, Ethiopia, Germany, Mexico, Nigeria, Switzerland and also Brazil which joined the Forum last year.

In November, 2007, the Forum held its Fourth International Conference on Federalism in New Delhi which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and attended by several heads of government.

Dr Kelkar, a former Finance Secretary, is expected to submit the Report of the 13th Finance Commission by December this year. He will take over the Chair of the Forum in January, 2010 from Dr. Arnold Koller, former President of Switzerland, who has been Chairman since February, 2005.

Dr. George Anderson, former Deputy Minister in Canadian Government, is the President & CEO of the Forum.

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Aruba Networks appoints Shalendra Singh as Sales Director

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Aruba Networks, Inc., which provides wireless LAN and secure mobility solutions, has appointed Mr Shalendra Singh as its Sales Director for India.

Mr Singh will be based in New Delhi and lead sales, partner and reseller operations throughout the country.

A press release issued by the company said Mr Singh had more than 15 years of IT and networking experience in the United States, Asia and India.

Before joining Aruba, he was the Vice-President of Sales and Business Developlment at O-Zone Networks in India. He has also worked for IBM India, PeopleSoft Singapore and webMethods.

"The wireless market in India is experiencing tremendous growth, and we believe a seasoned executive manager is essential in order to navigate the many potential opportunities and spur growth," Mr Albert Tay, Aruba's Regional Managing Director for ASEAN & India, said.

"We have invested heavily in the region, both in our Bangalore research and development center and a growing network of national sales representatives. Shalendra will be invaluable in driving new business and supporting our large and growing base of existing customers," he added.

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Journalist Shivnath Thukral joins Essar Group

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Mr Shivnath Thukral, who was until recently the Group Business Editor of NDTV, will join the Essar Group as its Group President - Corporate Branding & Strategic Initiatives with effect from October 12, the company announced here today.

Mr Thukral has a Master's degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics and a Master's in Journalism from the United States. He was with NDTV for 14 years.

“Shivnath has a rich experience of analyzing Indian businesses, financial markets and economic affairs.  He also brings to the table international experience of engaging with global thinkers, economists and CEOs. His skills and expertise will be invaluable in strategically reaching out to appropriately position the Essar Brand with its various stake holders whilst articulating and helping Essar’s journey from being a domestic manufacturing company to being a respected global entrepreneur," Mr Shashi Ruia, Chairman of Essar Group, said.

He said the group, with operations in five continents, had made several global acquisitions and alliances in the last few years and launched a refreshed brand identity and vision.

"Shivnath’s inclusion in its senior leadership team will add great value to the transformational process the Group is going through currently," he added.

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Chandrasekaran takes over as CEO and MD of TCS

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Mr N Chandrasekaran today assumed charge as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Tata Consultancy Services, the leading IT services, business solutions and outsourcing firm.

Mr Chandrasekaran, who was till now the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of the company, succeeded Mr S Ramadorai, who is stepping down from the executive role to take the position of non-executive vice chairman.

"Chandra is extremely well equipped to take over the mantle from his illustrious predecessor, Ram. This has truly been a seamless transition process," Mr Aman Mehta, independent director on the board of TCS said.

Mr Chandrasekaran said: "I take over at a time when Mr Ramadorai has ensured a strong position for TCS as a $6 billion company and a global IT services powerhouse. With our strong customer base, full services offering, multi-domain capability, and presence across emerging markets, I believe that we are optimally positioned to take advantage of the opportunity in the global market," said Mr Chandrasekaran."

He added: "It is important to drive excellence and growth through empowerment of our 140,000-strong employee base and value articulation for our global customers."

"Over the last 13 years, we’ve seen a tremendous transformation and growth not only in TCS but across the Indian IT services industry as a whole. I wish Chandra the very best, I am sure he will steer TCS to its next level of development and growth," Mr Ramadorai said.

Mr Ramadorai is retiring from his executive position after 13 years as CEO, upon reaching the retirement age of 65 years as per the company’s governance policy. He will remain involved in the company as a non-executive vice chairman and a member of the board of directors, a TCS press release added.

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Air Marshal Bhangu takes over as AOC-in-C, SW Air Command

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Air Marshal Paramjit Singh Bhangu has taken over as as the new Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), South Western Air Command (SWAC) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Gandhinagar.

Air Marshal Bhangu was commissioned in the IAF as a fighter pilot on January 22, 1972.

An official press release said he had more than 4000 hours of combat flying experience and commanded a front line air base.

A qualified A2 Category Flying Instructor and a Fighter Combat Leader, he has served as Commanding Officer of a Fighter Combat Squadron and the Tactics & Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE).

He is an alumnus of Defence Service Staff College, Wellington. Besides staff appointments at Air Headquarters as Joint Director Air Defence and Principal Director Flight Safety, the Air Officer had a flying instructional tenure of two years in a friendly country and also a diplomatic tenure in the Embassy of India Moscow, Russia as Air Attache for over three years.

The release said he had also held the appointments of Director General, Air Force Naval Housing Board, Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Personnel Officers) and Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Personnel Airmen & Civilians) at Air Headquarters.

Air Marshal Bhangu was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal in 1992 and the Ati Vishist Seva Medal in 1996 for exceptional devotion to duty. He was serving as Senior Air Staff Officer, Western Air Command, New Delhi before taking over as AOC-in-C, SWAC, the release added.

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B Prasada Rao named CMD of BHEL

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B. Prasada Rao
B. Prasada Rao

Mr B Prasada Rao has assumed charge as the Chairman and Managing Director of the public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).

Mr Rao, 55, has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh and a Master's degree in Industrial Engineering from NITIE, Mumbai.

According to a press release from BHEL, Mr Rao started his career in BHEL as an Industrial Engineer in the Industrial Systems Group at Bangalore in 1978. It said he had been responsible for conceptualising the approach for organisation of BHEL's Industry Sector business segment and drawing up a blueprint for Electronics in the company.

The release said that Mr Rao had later spearheaded the diversification initiative in the company's Electronics Division for BHEL's entry into Defence Simulators and Telecom products. He was instrumental in setting up the company's Electronics Systems Division in addition to Planning and Development activities.

Mr Rao has also served in BHEL's Heavy Power Equipment Plant at Hyderabad as in-charge of manufacture of steam turbines, gas turbines and compressors. He underwent training in GE, United States, in the manufacture of advanced class gas turbines. He led two corporate plan exercises at the Corporate Planning and Development department.

Mr Rao was working as head of BHEL's Industrial Systems and Products business until he was selected as the Chairman and Managing Director.

He takes over the position at a time when BHEL is enhancing its manufacturing capacity to 15,000 MW per annum and plans to augment it further to 20,000 MW by March, 2012.

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Rakesh Vaid is new president of Garment Exporters' Association

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Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman Rakesh Vaid has taken over as the new president of the 700-member Garments Exporters Association (GEA) for 2009-10.

Mr Vaid was elected unanimously to the position at the 35th annual general meeting of the GEA held here recently. He succeeds Mr G S Madan, who served as GEA president for two years.

Mr Vaid is founder-chairman of Usha Fabs, a manufacturer and exporter of readymade garments in the knits and woven segments. It has one of the largest schiffi embroidery unit in north India.

The AEPC represents more than 8000 small, medium and large garment exporters in India.

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Air Marshal Karnik to take over as SASO, Western Air Command

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Air Marshal Ajay Shriniwas Karnik will take over tomorrow as Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO) of the Western Air Command, one of the senior-most operational commands of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Commissioned into the fighter stream of the IAF in June 1972, Air Marshal Karnik has flown over 3000 hours on fighter aircraft like MiG-21 Bis and MiG-29.

A Fighter Combat Leader and a Qualified Flying Instructor, he is an alumnus of the Air War College, University of USAF, Montgomery, in the United States.

Having trained in the erstwhile Soviet Union on MiG-29, he went on to command a prestigious MiG-29 Squadron. He has also commanded important operational Air Force bases in the Western Desert Sector and the Western Coastal Region of India.

An official press release said Air Marshal Karnik had vast experience in operational flying, training, Command and Staff Appointments, having served as Head of Training Team (Air) and Senior Instructor at the premier tri-services Defence Staff College, Wellington.

He has also served as Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO) at Southern Air Command (SAC) and as Senior Air Staff Officer at Head Quarters Eastern Air Command (EAC), Shillong, making him the most operational Air Marshal of the Indian Air Force. During his tenure at Head Quarters Eastern Air Command, he has been instrumental in conducting various Disaster Relief Operations in the difficult terrain of the North Eastern India. He was also instrumental in the infrastructure development of North Eastern region of Eastern Air Command, the release said.

He has been awarded Ati Vishist Seva Medal and Vayu Sena Medal by the President of India for his distinguished service of very high order, the release added.

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Lt Gen Lamba is new GOC-in-C Army Training Command

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Lt Gen A S Lamba has taken over as the General Officer Commanding in Chief of the Army Training Command in Shimla.

A graduate of the 38th course of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla in Pune, Lt Gen Lamba was commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery in June, 1971.

An official press release said the officer had vast experience of conventional warfare and unconventional counter-insurgency operations, having participated in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War, served on almost all fronts and served in Nagaland, Manipur and Sri Lanka with the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF).

The General is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, and the Royal College of Defence Studies in the United Kingdom.

His varied command assignments include the command of an Infantry Brigade in counter insurgency and later in Operation Parakram, 16 Infantry Division on the Western border and the elite 21 Strike Corps in Central India.

His staff tenures include Brigade Major in Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) and the North East, Colonel Administration and Brigade General Staff in the Eastern Theatre and appointments in Army Headquarters, including Deputy Director General, Additional Director General Operational Logistics and Deputy Director General Strategic Planning in Perspective Planning Directorates.

The General Officer was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) in 2004, and is also a recipient of the Chief of Army Staff Commendation twice and GOC-in-C’s Commendation. His civil qualifications include MBA, M.A. in international Affairs from King's College London, M.Sc .and M. Phil. in Defence and Management Studies.

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Lt. Gen. Badhani takes over as DG, Border Roads

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Lieutenant General M C Badhani has taken over as Director General, Border Roads, succeeding Lt Gen A K Nanda, an official press release said here today.

It said Lt Gen Badhani was the 20th head of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) since it was established in 1960. 

The BRO has constructed 46,780 km of roads and 33060 metres of bridges in India and abroad. In India it has executed projects in difficult and inhospitable terrain and climate on the country's borders. It has also constructed 19 airfields and allied works.

Lt Gen Badhani is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA) at Khadakvasla in Pune, the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, the College of Defence Management, Secunderabad and the National Defence College, New Delhi.

The General Officer was commissioned into Bengal Sappers in November 1971. During his 38 years in the Army, he has held varied command, instructional and staff appointments, which include the Command of a Specialist Engineer Regiment, Chief Engineer of a Strike Corps, Chief Engineer Command, Brigadier-in-charge administration of a Desert Corps and instructional appointments at the Army War College, Mhow and Armoured Corps Centre and School, Ahmednagar.

Before taking over his new assignment, he was Commandant, Selection Centre East at Allahabad, the release added.

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Sujatha Rao is new Secretary, Health & Family Welfare

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Sujatha Rao
Sujatha Rao

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Ms K Sujatha Rao, an Indian Administrative Service ((IAS) officer of the 1974 batch (Andhra Pradesh cadre), as the new Secretary, Health and Family Welfare.

Ms Rao will succeed Mr Naresh Dayal, IAS, (UP: 1972), who will retire from service on September 30, an official press release said.

Ms Rao is at present the Secretary, Deparment of AIDS Control, in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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Timken appoints Ajay Das as MD for its India business

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The Timken Company, which provides friction management and power transmission products and services, has announced the appointment of Mr Ajay Das its new managing director for its business in India, headquartered in Bangalore.

In this new role, Mr. Das will oversee the continued growth of the company's business in India, including the Timken Engineering Research Institute, the global R&D and engineering facility at Bangalore, operations at Jamshedpur and Chennai, as well as sales, marketing and all supporting functions, a Timken press release said.

"I am optimistic about returning to India and the significant growth opportunities we have in this region. Timken has created the 'best in the industry' engineering, manufacturing, sales and services capabilities to serve a growing customer base in India. We will continue to focus on leveraging those capabilities to improve the performance of our customers' operations, and to deliver additional value to them," Mr. Das said.

During his 17 years with Timken, Mr Das has served as national sales manager of the automotive business in India, and later as the director of manufacturing of the Jamshedpur plant between 2001 and 2005.

In 2005, he relocated to Shanghai as director of new business development, and in 2007 he became the general manager of Timken's wind energy business unit based in Canton, Ohio, United States of America.

Mr Das has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Jamshedpur and a post-graduate diploma in Business Management from XLRI, Jamshedpur, the release added.

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Ashok Kumar concurrently accredited as envoy to Malawi

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Mr Ashok Kumar, High Commissioner of India to Zambia has been concurrently accredited as the country's High Commissioner to Malawi.

An official press release said Mr Kumar would have residence at Lusaka in Zambia.

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Former PIO G S Bhargava passes away

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Mr G S Bhargava, former Principal Information Officer (PIO) to the Government of India, passed away in Hyderabad today, official sources said here.

He was 85. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.

A distinguished journalist, Mr Bhargava had served as PIO from June 1978 to April 1980 during the Janata Party regime.

As a journalist, he had specialised in defence matters and had authored several books on the subject. He had also served as Resident Editor of Indian Express, Hyderabad.

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Malay Mukherjee appointed CEO of Essar's steel business

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Malay Mukherjee
Malay Mukherjee"

Mr Malay Mukherjee, until recently a member of the Arcelor Mittal Board of Directors, has been named as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Essar Group's steel business with effect from October 15.

Mr Mukherjee will succeed the present CEO, Mr J Mehra, who will assume a new role as Director-Essar Group.

A press release from the Essar Group said Mr Mehra would continue to be an active member of Essar's Group Management Committee as well as the Group Investment Committee, the Risk Management Committee and the People's Committee.

"Our steel business has grown by leaps and bounds under the stewardship of Mr Mehra. His new assignment will enable Essar to continue to draw on his rich experience," Mr Shashi Ruia, Chairman of the Essar Group, said.

"Mr Mukherjee comes with valuable international experience in the steel business and is an excellent addition to Essar Group's dynamic leadership team," he added.

Mr Mukherjee is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, and holds a master's degree in Mining from the USSR State Commission in Moscow.

In a long career spanning more than 35 years, he has led a variety of technical and commercial functions in the steel industry, including iron ore mining, project implementation, materials management and plant operations.

Prior to becoming a member of the Arcelor Mittal Board of Directors, Mr Mukherjee was also a member of the company's Group Management Board, with responsibility for Asia, Africa, CIS, Mining, Stainless, Pipes & Tubes as well as Technology.

Mr Mukherjee joined the LN Mittal Group in 1993 moving from Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) where he was Executive Director (Works) at the Bhilai Steel Plant. He was also associated with the Ispat Group in many important capacities, including President and COO of Ispat International, before joining Mittal Steel in 2004 as the COO.

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Vijay Keshav Gorkhale named High Commissioner to Malaysia

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Mr Vijay Keshav Gorkhale, currently Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Malaysia.

Mr Gorkhale, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1981 batch, will succeed Mr Ashok K Kantha, who has been named as the country's new High Commissioner to Sri Lanka.

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RIL's P M S Prasad named "Energy Executive of the Year 2008"

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P M S Prasad
P M S Prasad
Mr P.M.S. Prasad, Executive Director and CEO, Petroleum Business, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has been named as the Energy Executive of the Year 2008 by the Petroleum Economist.

The recognition is part of the Fourth Edition of the Petroleum Economist Awards, through which the London-based magazine Petroleum Economist recognizes the people and organisations who have made significant contributions to the industry and its future.

Petroleum Economist is a 70-year-old flagship magazine of the industry owned by the Euromoney Institutional Investor Group.

Mr. Prasad was recognized for “leading the development of Reliance Industries move from a refining and petrochemicals group into a successful, vertically diversified E&P business," a press release from RIL said, quoting the magazine.

This year’s edition of the Awards witnessed nominations of companies from across 23 countries vying for the honours in nine different categories.

According to the release, Mr. Prasad's nomination was recommended by the Association of Oil and Gas Operators in India (AOGO) through its Secretary General  Ashu Sagar.

The association members, comprising upstream operators in the country, endorsed Mr. Prasad as the Indian name for the category of Energy Executive, the release said.

The nomination of Mr Prasad said that "under his leadership, RIL commissioned India’s first FPSO based deep water oil production facility in a record time of about two years from discovery, and more recently in April 2009, successfully commissioned the world’s largest and among the most complex deepwater gas production facilities in a record time of about six and half years from discovery.”

The release said the award was recognition of the leadership role which Mr. Prasad played in bringing India’s largest gas field to production within seven years from discovery.

The KG D6 block commenced production in a very short time in April this year, despite tight global conditions, an unparalleled feat in the deepwater exploration across the world. The discovery of gas in the KG basin by Reliance Industries was the largest discovery in the world in 2002. The commissioning of the mega scale offshore infrastructure in the East Coast, counted among the harshest operating environments in the world, in record time is expected to transform the energy landscape in the country. With a peak production of about 555,000 barrels of oil equivalent, it will be nearly 40% of India’s current indigenous production, it said.

Mr Prasad has been with RIL for more than 28 years. At present, he heads the upstream and refining businesses, which comprises exploration and production and refinery supply and trading. Over the years, he has held various positions in the fibres, petrochemicals and petroleum businesses in RIL. He was also the project head of the large Jamnagar refinery and petrochemicals complex.

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Jyoti Swarup Pande appointed Ambassador to Ukraine

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Mr Jyoti Swarup Pande, currently Ambassador of India to Kyrgyzstan, has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to Ukraine.

A press release said Mr Pandey, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1974 batch, will succeed Mr D Saha. He is expected to take up his assignment shortly, it added.

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Ravi Thapar named Ambassador to Lebanon

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Mr Ravi Thapar, currently Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Lebanon.

Mr Thapar will succeed Ms Nengcha Lhouvum Mukhopadhyaya, who has been named as the country's new Ambassador to Serbia.

A statement from the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr Thapar was expected to take up his assignment shortly.

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Dinkar Khullar to be next Ambassador to Austria

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Mr Dinkar Khullar, currently Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, has been appointed as India's next Ambassador to Austria.

An official press release said Mr Khullar would succeed Mr Saurabh Kumar. He is expected to take up his assignment shortly.

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