Bandyopadhyay is new Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs

Anurag GoelR Bandyopadhyay
Anurag Goel and R Bandyopadhyay
Mr R Bandyopadhyay assumed charge as the new Secretary in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs here today.

Mr Bandhopadhyay is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1974 batch. He was Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises in the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.

He has succeeded Mr Anurag Goel, who has joined as Member, Competitive Commission of India.


Ashok Kantha next High Commissioner to Sri Lanka

Ashok Kantha
Ashok Kantha
Mr Ashok Kumar Kantha, currently High Commissioner of India to Malaysia, has been appointed as the country's next High Commissioner to Sri Lanka.

An announcement by the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr Kantha, who will succeed Mr Alok Prasad, is expected to take up his assignment shortly.


Roychaudhury takes over as Director (Commercial) of OVL

Samarendra Roychaudhury
Samarendra Roychaudhury
Mr. Samarendra Roychaudhury has taken over as Director (Commercial) of ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.

OVL was set up to prospect for oil and gas acreages abroad, including acquisition of oil and gas fields, exploration, development, production, transportation and export of oil and gas.

Mr Roychaudhury, who has a B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering, was one of those who set up the Institute of Reservoir Studies in Ahmedabad, particularly the Thermal Processes Laboratory.

In the 1970s, after the discovery of a heavy oil belt in Mehsana, Gujarat, Mr Roychaudhury helped to establish the viability of thermal processes at bench scale, particularly in situ combustion and chalk out a conceptual design of the process for field testing.

In 1981, he went to the University of Southern California for one year. There he got the exposure to Thermal Early Oil Recovery (EOR) processes, and worked as a Production Engineer in a steam injection process at Kern River Valley, California.

On his return, his experience, coupled with his passion for heavy oil, helped ONGC to take the in situ combustion process from the laboratory to the field in Balol. Since then, ONGC has become a world leader in in situ combustion technology.

After his tenure at IRS, Mr Roychaudhury had a three year stint at Agartala as Head of Reservoir Division .

On his return to IRS, he took initiative in expanding the in situ combustion process at Balol from semi-commercial to the commercial stage. He headed the EOR and Oil and Gas Field Development divisions at the institute. Later, he was posted as Sub-Surface Manager at Neelam-Heera Asset in Mumbai.

He joined OVL in March 2005 and currently looks after all aspects of overseas operations of producing and exploratory assets, a press release from the company added.


Shantanu Consul takes over as Secretary DoPT

Shantanu Consul
Shantanu Consul
Mr Shantanu Consul today assumed charge as Secretary, Department of Personnel & Training, in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.

He succeeds Mr Rahul Sarin, who superannuated yesterday, an official press release said here today.

Mr Consul is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1974 batch (Karnataka cadre). Before taking over his new assignment, he was Secretary, Drinking Water Supply, in the Ministry of Rural Development.

He has also served as Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Secretary, Border Management in the Ministry of Home Affairs. He has also handled several important assignments at the state level.


Air Marshal K J Mathews new HR head of IAF


Air Marshal KJ Mathews took over as the new Air Officer-in-Charge Personnel (AOP), the Head of Human Resources of the Indian Air Force (IAF), at Air Headquarters here today.

Commissioned in 973, the Air Marshal has more than 3,500 hours of flying to his credit on various aircraft that include HF-24 (Marut), Hunter, MiG-21M and MiG-29. He was also a team member of "Thunderbolts" – the IAF’s erstwhile Aerobatic Team.

His appointments include Station Commander of an operational base during Kargil operations, Air Officer Commanding of Air Force Station Adampur, Principal Director of Concept Studies, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operations) at Air HQ and Commandant, Air Force Academy before his current appointment.

Air Marshal Mathews is an alumnus of National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and Air War College in the United States.


Dr Arvind Lal gets honorary rank of Brigadier


Dr Arvind Lal, Chairman & Managing Director of Dr Lal Pathlabs, a leading clinical pathology laboratory in the country, has been accorded the honorary rank of Brigadier in the Armed Forces Medical Services by the President.

The rank has been granted to Dr Lal with effect from July 9, 2009, an official press release said here today.

Dr Lal, 60, is regarded as a pioneer in bringing laboratory services in India at par with the Western world.

Born on August 22, 1949, Dr Lal is an alumnus of the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune, having received his graduate and post-graduate medical degrees from the prestigious institute.

Later he worked as a lecturer in the Department of Pathology in AFMC. In 1977, he took charge of Dr Lal Pathlabs, founded in 1949 by his late father. Under him, it has grown into one of the most reputed laboratories in Asia.

According to the release, Dr Lal has revolutionized laboratory medicine in the country by introducing new tests, instruments and ICT systems. His R & D unit is recognized by the Department of Science and Technology. A member of many expert and advisory bodies set up by the Central and state governments and on the panel of several professional bodies and institutes, Dr Lal has served as a pathologist to many present and past Prime Ministers of India. He was honoured by the Government with the Padma Shri award this year.


Ahluwalia to deliver public lecture at MIT on Sep 9

File photo of Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia
File photo of Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia
Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia will deliver a public lecture on "Toward India 2020: Challenges and Opportunities" at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States on September 9.

Dr Ahluwalia's lecture will open the inaugural B&K Securities MIT India Forum, which is part of the MIT India Initiative, an institute-wide effort to look at new ways of fostering MIT's century-long ties with India.

A press release from MIT said the the Initiative is led by Prof Abhijit Banerjee and Prof Charles Cooney, who launched the Forum as a way to stimulate interest in and knowledge about India, and to discuss and debate the most pressing issues facing India today.

After the lecture, Dr Ahluwalia will meet with faculty leaders to discuss the next phase of the MIT-India relationship.

"The frontiers of knowledge, technology, and enterprise stretch around the world," said Prof Philip S. Khoury, Associate Provost and head of strategic planning for international education and research.

"So now is the time to convene more conversations with India, one of MIT's most important global partners. Dr Ahluwalia's visit has generated tremendous excitement both on campus and in the greater Boston community," he said.

Among other things, Dr Ahluwalia is a member of the Group of Thirty, an international body of the world's most senior and influential economists.

The release said the Forum would meet on a quarterly basis and examine such topics as India's rapid economic transformation, R&D manufacturing in South Asia, and social enterprise.


Vice Admiral Dewan assumes charge as Vice Chief of Naval Staff


Vice Admiral D K Dewan today took over as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff from Vice Admiral R P Suthan, who retired after 39 years of service.

Vice Admiral Dewan is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla and was commissioned in the Indian Navy on July 1, 1973. He qualified as a Gunnery Officer in 1978 and completed the advanced missile course in Russia in 1983. He is a graduate of the Joint Staff Course, Paris, the Naval Higher Command Course and the Royal College of Defence Studies, London.

The Flag Officer has had wide national and international exposure and has experience in various fields such as operations, international relations and defence planning. Having done his sea service in seven different ships, he took up duties of Deputy Director Naval Plans at the Naval Headquarters and managed naval budget for four years. In December 2002, he was appointed Principal Director Naval Plan at Naval Headquarters and was responsible for plans, foreign cooperation and budget.

After promotion to Rear Admiral in November 2003, he has held the appointments of Senior Directing Staff (Navy) at National Defence College and Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra Area (FOMA). He was promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral on March 20, 2007 and was appointed as Controller Personnel Services (CPS) and has been the Chief of Personnel since July 27 that year.


Gen Deepak Kapoor is new Chairman COSC

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sureesh Mehta hands over the baton of Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman to the Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor.
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sureesh Mehta hands over the baton of Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman to the Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor.
Admiral Sureesh Mehta, whose tenure as Chief of Naval Staff ended today, handed over the baton of Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) to Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor at South Block here.

The seniormost of the three service chiefs holds the position of Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee.

Gen Kapoor was commissioned in the Indian Army in June 1967 and has held important Staff and Command appointments during his illustrious career. The General Officer has taken active part in 1971 Bangladesh operations.

He commanded a brigade in the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, a division as part of a strike corps during OP PARAKRAM and a corps on the Indo-China border. On promotion as Army Commander, he commanded the Army Training Command at Shimla. Thereafter, he commanded the Northern Command from September 5, 2005 to December 31, 2006.

The General Officer has also represented the country as the Chief Operations Officer for all United Nations Forces deployed in Somalia from 1994 to 1995.

The General officer took over as the Chief of Army Staff on September 30, 2007. Since then he has focused on the modernisation of the Army in pursuit of the aim of making it one of the finest armies in the world.

The General was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal in January 1996, Sena Medal in January 1998, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in January 2006 and Param Vishisht Seva Medal in January 2007, an official press release added.


Admiral Nirmal Verma takes over as Chief of Naval Staff

Admiral Nirmal Verma took over from Admiral Sureesh Mehta, as the 20th CNS of Independent India and the 18th Indian to take command of the Indian Navy.
Admiral Nirmal Verma took over from Admiral Sureesh Mehta, as the 20th CNS of Independent India and the 18th Indian to take command of the Indian Navy.
Admiral Nirmal Verma took over as the new Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) here today from Admiral Sureesh Mehta, who has retired.

Adm Verma is the 20th CNS of independent India and the 18th Indian to take command of the Indian Navy.

In the morning, Adm Verma paid tribute to the country’s martyrs by laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate and then inspected a Guard of Honour at the lawns of South Block. Later, in his office, the outgoing Chief formally handed over the Chief’s telescope to Adm Verma.

The change of command included a poignant ceremony when Adm Mehta was bid adieu by the Principal Staff Officers and other senior staff officers of the Indian Navy by pulling out his jeep.

Talking to mediapersons after assuming office, Adm Verma said that it was a great "privilege and honour" to take command of such a fine service manned by a new generation of technology savvy officers and sailors.

Outlining his priorities, he said that his emphasis would be on consolidating and sustaining the growth of the Navy with due attention to indigenisation. He cited the acquisition of the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya, the new Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft P8I and the Scorpene submarine as being of utmost priority.

On the topic of indigenisation, he also highlighted the need to closely monitor development and production activities to ensure induction within planned time frames, stating that alternate options must be processed concurrently to ensure that there was no void in combat capability.

He stressed the importance of maintaining high Maritime Domain Awareness, synergising the weapon-sensor grid and ensuring seamless connectivity over a networked force. He stated that the training of the Navy was also being realigned to man the technology intensive force.

Adm Verma is a specialist in Communication and Electronic Warfare with nearly four decades of experience across various assignments. His sea tenures include Commands of INS Udaygiri, a Leander Class Frigate; INS Ranvir, a Kashin Class Destroyer; and the Aircraft Carrier, INS Viraat.

In assignments that shape future leadership of the Indian Navy, he has commanded the Indian Naval Academy at Goa, been Head of Naval Training Team at the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, India, and Senior Directing Staff (Navy) at the National Defence College, New Delhi.

As part of crew for the first Kashin Class Destroyer inducted into the Indian Navy in 1980, he trained in the former Soviet Union. He has attended professional mid and senior level courses at the Royal Naval Staff College, Greenwich, UK and the Naval Command Course at the US Naval War College, Rhode Island respectively. Upon elevation to Flag Rank, as a Rear Admiral he has contributed to consolidation of growth and development of the Naval Commands first as the Chief of Staff of Eastern Naval Command and thereafter as Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra Naval Area.

Evolution of the maritime capabilities and policies for future induction were steered by Adm Verma in his capacity as the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Policy & Plans).

On promotion to Vice Admiral in Nov 2005, he guided the Human Resource Development programmes of the Navy, formulating personnel and service policies as the Chief of Personnel.

In his capacity as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Verma, structured the framework for the transformation of the navies combat capabilities and infrastructure development.

The Admiral is a recipient of Param Vishisht Seva Medal and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal for meritorious service, and is also the Honorary Aide-de-Camp to the President of India.

Admiral Verma is married to Madhulika and they have two sons Hemant and Anant, who are in the creative and business fields respectively.


Lt Gen Loomba is new Director General Military Intelligence


Lt Gen R K Loomba, Gen Officer Commanding 3 Corps, took over here today as the Director General Military Intelligence from Lt Gen D S Bartwal, who has retired.

An alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla, Lt Gen Loomba was commissioned into the Skinner’s Horse of Indian Army in June 1970. He has served in Operation Cactus Lily with his Regiment, and has served as Brigade Major in a Mountain Division.

He has commanded the Deccan Horse and has varied experience in all types of terrain obtained in the country on almost all fronts. A graduate of Defence Officers Staff Course, Wellington, Higher Command at Army War College, Mhow and National Defence College, he has held numerous important appointments at all levels including at the Army Headquarters.

He has been Commander Higher Command Wing training the officers for higher direction of war, an official press release added.


Vivek Tankha appointed Addl. Solicitor General


The Government has appointed Mr Vivek K Tankha as Additional Solicitor General of India (Direct Taxes) in the Supreme Court of India.

This was announced by the Ministry of Law and Justice here yesterday.

Mr Tankha is a former Advocate General of Madhya Pradesh. Last year, he had unsuccessfully contested the Rajya Sabha election from the state as an independent candidate backed by the Congress.


V K Saraswat to be new DRDO chief

Dr. V K Saraswat
Dr. V K Saraswat
Eminent missile scientist Vijay Kumar Saraswat will be the new head of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), an official press release said here today.

He will take over from Mr M Natarajan on September 1 as the Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister and Director-General, DRDO.

Dr Saraswat, 60, is at present a Distinguished Scientist and Chief Controller, Research and Development (Missiles and Strategic Systems) in the DRDO, a position he was appointed to in November, 2005.

Dr Saraswat, who has a doctorate in Propulsion Engineering, started his career in DRDO in 1972 with the development of India's first Liquid Propulsion Engine, DEVIL. He established facilities for design, production and testing of engines and the RCS technologies for the missile applications.

He has spearheaded the development of the country's strategic and tactical missile systems, including the Agni series of strategic missiles covering a range of upto 3000 kms.

As Project Director of Prithvi, he steered the design, development, production and induction of the country's first indigenous surface-to-surface missile system into the armed forces.

The successful testing of ‘Dhanush’ missile on board a moving ship with high terminal accuracy brought a new dimension in the national defence capability.

As Programme Director AD (Air Defence), Dr. Saraswat pioneered the concept of theatre defence system and integration of national Air Defence elements. He was Director, Research Centre Imarat (RCI) before taking over as CCR&D(MSS).

Dr. Saraswat is a forerunner in the development of number of critical missile technologies that were under denial due to the Missile Technology Control Regime, thus making India self-reliant in missile technologies. He has headed various committees of national importance.

The Government honoured him with the Padma Shri in 1988 for his outstanding contribution to the nation.

Dr. Saraswat has received several awards including Prof Jai Krishna Memorial Award of the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE) and National Systems Gold Medal by the Systems Society of India. International Academy of Engineering, Russia elected Dr. Saraswat as a Member of the Academy and honoured him as an Academician.


T C A Raghavan named High Commissioner to Singapore


Dr T C A Raghavan, currently Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs here, has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Singapore.

Dr Raghavan will succeed Dr Subramanyam Jaishankar, who was named last month as the country's new Ambassador to China.

In a separate announcement, the Ministry of External Affairs said that Mr Vishnu Namdeo Hade, presently Ambassador of India to Panama, had been concurrently accredited as country's next Ambassador to Honduras with residence in Panama.


Amrohi named High Commissioner to Mozambique


Mr Ashok Kumar Amrohi, at present Indian Ambassador in Algeria, has been appointed as the country's next High Commissioner to Mozambique.

A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr Amrohi, who will succeed Mr Rajinder Bhagat, was expected to take up his assignment shortly.


RIL appoints Ravimohan, Prasad as Executive Directors


The Board of Directors of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today announced the appointment of Mr R Ravimohan and Mr P M S Prasad as Executive Directors on the Board with immediate effect.

With this, the Board will expand to 14 members with seven of them being Independent Directors, the company said in a press release.

Mr Ravimohan is the former Chairman of CRISIL Ltd and the Managing Director and Region Head of Standard and Poor's for South and South East Asia.

Mr Prasad has been with RIL for more than 28 years and presently heads the upstream and refining businesses, which comprise exploration and production and refinery supply and trading.

"Ravi is undoubtedly one of the finest financial and risk management minds in the world while Prasad has been an integral part of the growth story of Reliance and its achievements. I look forward to the contributions of these two talented professionals to take Reliance forward on an accelerated growth path," RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani said.

Mr Ravimohan is credited with building CRISIL into the largest rating, financial and business research and advisory service company in India. He has been closely involved with the modernization of the Indian financial system and pioneered the era of electronic stock markets in the country.

He has been involved in critical policy assignments including being a member of the Secondary Market Advisory Committee of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Technical Advisory Committee of Reserve Bank of India and the Raghuram Rajan Committee on Financial Sector Reforms.

Mr Prasad is recognised as one of the finest professionals in the energy industry. 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. He was recently awarded a honorary doctorate degree by the University of Petroleum Engineering Studies, Dehra Dun.


S L Raina takes over as Director (HR) of GAIL

S L Raina
S L Raina
Mr S L Raina has taken over as Director (Human Resources) of the public sector gas major GAIL (India) Limited.

Mr Raina has a Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Hull, London, an LL.B., a Master in Public Administration and a Bachelor in Science degrees.

Prior to his current assignment, he headed various HR departments in GAIL and also spearheaded various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes, a company press release said.

As Head of Legal Department, Mr Raina has represented the company in various judicial, arbitral and administrative proceedings as well as customer contracts, gas sales agreements, gas sale and purchase agreements, production sharing contracts and gas transportation agreements.

Mr Raina has also served GAIL as Central Public Information Officer under the Right to Information Act 2005. He was for some time Zonal General Manager (Marketing), Northern Zonal Office of GAIL.

He served as HR Head for five years at GAIL’s Petrochemical plant during its different stages of construction, pre-commissioning and stabilization activities, the release added.


Nengcha Mukhopadhyaya appointed Ambassador to Serbia

Ms Nengcha Lhouvum Mukhopadhyaya, at present India's Ambassador in Lebanon, has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to Serbia.

A statement from the Ministry of External Affairs said Ms Mukhopadhyaya, who will succeed Mr Ajay Swarup, was expected to take up her assignment shortly.


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Divyabh Manchanda to be next Ambassador to Bulgaria


Mr Divyabh Manchanda, currently Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) here, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Bulgaria.

An MEA press release said that he was expected to take up his assignment shortly.


Sify appoints Mani as President-Consumer Infrastructure

Natesh Mani
Natesh Mani
Sify Technologies Limited, one of the largest Managed Enterprise and Consumer Internet Services companies in India, today said Mr Natesh Mani had been appointed as the company's President – Consumer Infrastructure Services.

Mr Mani's last assignment was with Xerox as Director – Middle East & Africa, where he was responsible for a turnover of US$ 200 million per annum.

His career has taken him to 56 countries around the world, and enabled him to gain valuable exposure and insights into business challenges in diverse environments, a press release from Sify said.

"We are very excited to have Natesh Mani on board. He joins us at a critical juncture, as we have just completed consolidating and reconstructing the company’s Consumer business. Natesh’s rich experience in Marketing, Sales Operations and Channel Development will play a pivotal role in strengthening and growing the Consumer business," Mr Raju Vegesna, MD and CEO, Sify Technologies, said.

Mr. Natesh Mani said, "I am very happy to join Sify at a time when the company is poised for growth and looking to significantly enhance its services portfolio. Sify has always been a pioneer and leader in Internet services, and I hope to contribute to its path breaking history with new initiatives in the consumer access business."


Lal Dingliana named Ambassador to Venezuela


Mr Lal Dingliana, currently Ambassador of India to Bulgaria, has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to Venezuela.

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


Aamir Khan's wife Kiran suffers miscarriage


Actor Aamir Khan's wife Kiran Rao has suffered a miscarriage, a post by him on his blog said today.

"I have bad news folks. Kiran and I lost our baby. Despite our best efforts we were unable to avert a miscarriage," Aamir Khan said in the post.

"The last 2 months have been a struggle for us and that is one of the reasons I was absent from the blog in more ways than one. K and I need time to heal. I will be away for a while. Love," he added. The two had got married in 2005.


Ambika Soni condoles Murali's death


Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni today deeply condoled the death of well-known Malayalam film actor Murali, who passed away in Thiruvananthapuram last night.

Ms Soni said that Murali, who was also Chairman of the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi, would be long remembered for his contribution to Malayalam theatre and films.

The minister conveyed her heartfelt condolences to Murali's wife and daughter and other members of his family.

The 55-year-old actor, who was said to be suffering from diabetes for a long time, had been admitted to the hospital on Wednesday for treatment of chest congestion. The end came at 8.20 pm last night following a cardiac arrest.

He had returned only a few days ago from Cape Town in South Africa, where he was shooting for Tamil actor Surya's Aadhavan, directed by K S Ravikumar and produced by Udayanidhi Stalin.

In all, Murali had acted in more than 200 Malayalam and Tamil films in a career spanning three decades. He had won the National Award for Best Actor in 2002 for "Neythukaran".


Malayalam actor Murali passes away

President A P J Abdul Kalam presenting the Best Actor Award to Murali for his role in 'Naythukaran' (2001) at the 49th National Film Awards function in 2003.
President A P J Abdul Kalam presenting the Best Actor Award to Murali for his role in 'Naythukaran' (2001) at the 49th National Film Awards function in 2003.
Well-known Malayalam film actor Murali, who had won the National Award for Best Actor in 2002 for "Neythukaran", died at a hospital here tonight, sources said.

He was 55. He is survived by his wife and a daughter. The funeral will be held tomorrow, the sources said.

Murali, who was said to be suffering from diabetes for a long time, had been admitted to the hospital yesterday for treatment of chest congestion. The end came around 8.20 pm tonight following a cardiac arrest, they said.

Murali was also the chairman of the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi.

The actor, who was known for his gripping portrayals of lead and character roles, had acted in more than 200 films in Malayalam and Tamil.

In 1999, he contested the Lok Sabha elections as an independent candidate supported by the Left Democratic Front from the Alapuzha constituency in Kerala, but lost to V M Sudheeran of the Congress.

Murali was born on May 25, 1954, as the eldest child of P Krishna Pillai and K Devaki Amma at Kudavattoor in Kerala's Kollam district. He did his schooling from the Kudavattoor Lower Primary School and the Thrikannamangalam S K V High School. He went on to complete his degree in Law from the Thiruvananthapuram Law Academy. He worked for some time in the Kerala government and in the Kerala University's administration department. As a student, he was an active member of the Students Federation of India.

Murali began his acting career with Njattadi, directed by Gopi, which never got released. Panchagni, directed by Hariharan, was his first release, though he had around the same time acted in Chidambaram by Aravindan and Meenamasathile Sooryan by Lenin Rajendran.

Aadharan, directed by George Kittu, was the first film with him in the lead. Some of his other notable films include Nee Ethra Dhanya, Dhanam, The King, Achan Kombathu Amma Varambathu and Swarnam.

Murali got his first Kerala State Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for Amaram, directed by Bharatan. He later won the Best Actor for Aadharam and for Neythukaran, directed by Priyanandan, a role for which he also got the National Award.

Murali is the second well-known Malayalam actor to pass away in the last ten days. On July 29, the veteran stage and film actor Rajan P Dev, who was popular for his character roles, died in Kochi after a brief illness.


Achal Malhotra named Ambassador to Armenia


Mr Achal Malhotra, currently the Deputy Chief of Mission in the embassy of India in Vienna, has been appointed as the country's new Ambassador to Armenia.

A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr Malhotra was expected to take up his new assignment shortly.


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