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Renowned journalist Vinod Mehta passes away

Renowned journalist Vinod Mehta, who was the founder-editor-in-chief of Outlook magazine, passed away at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here on Sunday morning after a prolonged illness.

Vinod Mehta
Vinod Mehta
Renowned journalist Vinod Mehta, who was the founder-editor-in-chief of Outlook magazine, passed away at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here this morning after a prolonged illness.
 
He was 72.
 
"Outlook Group announces with deep sadness the demise of its founder Editor-in-Chief and editorial chairman, Vinod Mehta, in New Delhi, today," the magazine said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
AIIMS spokesperson Amit Gupta said Mr Mehta had been transferred to the hospital a week ago from Fortis Hospital for treatment of acute chest infection.
 
He had developed septicemia and was on a ventilator at AIIMS for the past week. He died of multiple organ failure this morning, Dr Gupta said.
 
Mr Mehta began his journalistic career as the editor of Debonair magazine and later edited other publications such as the Sunday Observer, Indian Post, The Independent and The Pioneer before joining Outlook. He was editor-in-chief of Outlook until February 2012 after which he served as the Editorial Chairman of the magazine.
 
He has also written several books such as his memoirs Lucknow Boy and biographies of film actress Meena Kumari and Indira Gandhi's son Sanjay Gandhi.
 
Born on May 31, 1942 in Rawalpindi in West Punjab of undivided India, his family moved to India when he was three. He grew up in the syncretic culture of Lucknow, having attended La Martinere school and the university there. 
 
He tried his hand at a variety of jobs before taking up an offer to edit Debonair magazine in 1974. Over the years, he became one of India's most influential and respected editors. He was till recently a regular on many television debates.
 
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Classical music doyenne Annapurna Devi no more

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Hindustani classical musician Annapurna Devi died at Breach Candy Hospital here on Saturday morning, a hospital source said. She was 89.
 
"She died on Saturday morning," a Breach Candy Hospital staff member told IANS.
 
The Indian 'surbahar' player was the daughter and disciple of sarod exponent Allauddin Khan.
 
Singer-composer A.R. Rahman tweeted: "RIP...respect. Annapurna Devi."
 
Music producer Durga Jasraj also mourned the death of the former wife of legendary sitar player Ravi Shankar. She posted on Twitter: "The most enigmatic musician Annapurna Deviji passed away leaving a rich legacy, her disciples include the great Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasiaji. Hope her soul will fly high to its destination."
 
IANS
 

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Environmentalist G D Agarwal passes away

G. D. Agarwal
G. D. Agarwal
Environmentalist G. D. Agarwal, who was on a fast for the last 111 days demanding a clean Ganga, died after a heart attack in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand on Thursday.
 
The 86-year old former IIT-Kanpur professor had been on hunger strike since June 22 for a pollution-free and uninterrupted flow in the Ganga. 
 
He had demanded that steps be taken to make the river free-flowing for natural cleansing, and also a ban on construction of all hydroelectric projects along the tributaries of the Ganga besides enactment of the Ganga Protection Management Act. 
 
Agarwal had sent several letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had in 2014 pledged on the banks of the Ganga in Varanasi that immediate steps would be taken to ensure cleaning of the holy river. 
 
However, the government paid no heed to his demands, said 'IITians for Holy Ganga', a forum formed to preserve the heritage and ecology of the river.
 
Agarwal, who is also know as Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand, had given up water a couple of days ago after government failed to respond to his satyagraha. 
 
He was moved to the AIIMS, Rishikesh, on October 9 from the protest site.
 
Activists and politicians criticised the government for not listening to Agarwal.
 
Calling the BJP government "insensitive", Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh said the BJP, which garnered votes in the name of the Ganga, could not save the son of the Ganga (Agarwal).
 
In a tweet, he said he had raised the issue in Parliament to save Agarwal.
 
Senior Supreme Court lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan criticised the government saying Agarwal was forcibly picked up by the Uttarakhand police and hospitalised.
 
"He passed away today after his pleas to save the Ganga fell on Modi's deaf ears. RIP Dear Sir. This world is not for pure souls," Bhushan tweeted.
 
Union River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Nitin Gadkari had in August this year said nearly 70-80 per cent of the cleaning work of the Ganga would be completed by March 2019 and the holy river would become completely clean by 2020.
 
IANS
 

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Sanjay Verma appointed as Ambassador to Spain

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Mr. Sanjay Verma (IFS:1990), presently Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) here, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India Spain.
 
A press release from MEA last week also said that Dr. Pankaj Sharma (IFS:1991), presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry, has been appointed as the next Ambassador/Permanent Representative of India to the UN Conference on Disarmament, Geneva.
 
Both officers are expected to take up their new assignments shortly, the release added.
 
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Justice Ranjan Gogoi sworn in as Chief Justice of India

Justice Ranjan Gogoi was sworn in as the 46th Chief Justice of India at a simple ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan here this morning.

Justice Ranjan Gogoi
Justice Ranjan Gogoi
Justice Ranjan Gogoi was sworn in as the 46th Chief Justice of India at a simple ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan here this morning.
 
President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath of office to Justice Gogoi in the presence of a large number of dignitaries, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several of his Cabinet colleagues and senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani, among others.
 
Justice Gogoi, who is the first Chief Justice of India from the North-Eastern region, will have a tenure of a little over one year. He is due to retire on November 17, 2019.
 
He has succeeded Justice Dipak Misra, whose term as Chief Justice of India ended yesterday.
 
Born on November 18, 1954, Justice Gogoi was enrolled as an advocate in 1978. He practised in the Gauhati High Court on constitutional, taxation and company matters. He was appointed as a Permanent Judge of the Gauhati High Court on February 28, 2001. On September 9, 2010, he was transferred to the Punjab & Haryana High Court. He was appointed as Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court on February 12 2011. He was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India on April 23, 2012.
 
Justice Gogoi was one of the four Supreme Court judges who had held the unprecedented press conference in January this year, raising concerns about the administration in the apex court, saying it was "not in order". The other three judges were -- Justice J. Chelameswar (now retired), Justice M.B. Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph.
 
Justice Gogoi is from Assam, and he headed the special bench that is monitoring the updation of National Register of Citizens to identify citizens in the northeastern state.
 
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Air Marshal V R Chaudhari takes over as Deputy Chief of Air Staff

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Air Marshal V R Chaudhari has taken over as the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
 
Air Marshal Chaudhari was commissioned into the fighter stream of the IAF on December 29, 1982, an official press release said.  He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA).  The Air Officer has flown various aircraft and is experienced on MiG-21, MiG-23MF, MiG-29 and SU-30MKI with a flying experience over 3800 hours.
 
He is a Cat A Qualified Flying Instructor, a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College and an Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner.  
 
The Air Marshal has rich experience of operational flying, having undertaken numerous Air Defence missions during Op-Meghdoot and Op-Safed Sagar.
 
He has been an Air Force Examiner on several types of fighter and trainer aircraft.  He commanded a MiG-29 Squadron and served as the Chief Operations Officer of Air Force Station Srinagar.  He commanded a forward base before taking over as Air I at HQ CAC IAF.
 
He has been an Instructor at DSSC Wellington as well as DSCSC in Zambia.  He served as the AA to the CAS and later commanded Air Force Station Pune. On promotion to AVM, he tenanted the appointment of Deputy Commandant Air Force Academy and as ACAS Ops (Air Defence).  
 
Before taking over as Deputy Chief of the Air Staff he was the Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Personnel Officers).
 
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Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar takes over as AOC-in-C, Eastern Air Command

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Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar took over as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), Eastern Air Command (EAC) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday.
 
Air Marshal Nambiar is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA) and was commissioned in the IAF as Fighter Pilot in June 1981. He is an Experimental Test Pilot and has flown 42 types of aircraft as Pilot in Command.
 
He has the distinction of having the highest number of flying hours on the Mirage-2000 in the IAF, with over 2300 flying hrs on the aircraft to his credit, and a total of 5100 hrs of flying experience. He is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and was the Project Test Pilot for the Light Combat Aircraft “Tejas”.
 
Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar has been a Flight commander of a Mirage-2000 Squadron, the Senior Test Pilot and Commanding Officer of the Flight Test Squadron at Aircraft System Testing Establishment (ASTE). 
 
He has commanded the oldest Squadron of the IAF, the prestigious No. 1 Squadron. He flew the Mirage-2000 in combat during the Kargil conflict and has flown 25 operational missions. He was the Director of Space Applications at Air HQ and the Chief Operations Officer of Air Force Stn Gwalior.
 
He was posted to Embassy of India in Israel as the Defence Attaché. He was the Principal Director of Offensive Operations at Air HQ.  The Air Officer has also held the appointments of Air Officer Commanding Air Force Station Jamnagar, Commandant ASTE, Air Defence Commander Western Air Commander, Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO) of Southern Air Command, Training Command and EAC. 
 
Before taking over as the AOC-in-C of EAC, he was the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff.
 
Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal for Gallantry by the President of India for the Kargil Operations.  He was awarded a Bar to the Vayu Sena Medal for flight testing the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) in 2002, during its first phase of flight testing. 
 
He was commended by the Chief of Air Staff in 1991 and by the C-in-C of Strategic Force Command in 2005. He was awarded the Ati Vishist Seva Medal in 2015.
 
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Air Marshal Anil Khosla takes over as Vice-Chief of Air Staff

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Air Marshal Anil Khosla took over as the Vice-Chief of Air Staff here today.
 
Born on April 9, 1959, the Air Marshal, an alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA), was commissioned in Indian Air Force in December, 1979. 
 
He has over 4000 hours of accident free flying mainly on different variants of Jaguar, Mig-21 and Kiran aircraft.
 
The Air Officer has been Directing Staff at prestigious institutions like Tactics and Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) and Flying Instructor School (FIS). He has commanded a Jaguar squadron with maritime role and two frontline bases of the IAF at Jaisalmer and Ambala. 
 
As an Air Marshal he has held appointment of Senior Air Staff Officer, Central Air Command, Director General Air (Operations) at Air HQ (Vayu Bhawan) and Director General (Inspection & Safety) at Air HQ (RK Puram).  His last appointment was as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), Eastern Air Command (EAC).
 
For his distinguished service, Air Marshal Anil Khosla has been awarded Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Vayu Sena Medal and has been commended by the Chief of Air Staff. He was also commended by AOC-in-C, during flying training period as a cadet.
 
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Krishna Raj Kapoor, wife of iconic actor Raj Kapoor, passes away

A photo of Krishna Raj Kapoor shared by her granddaughter Riddhima Kapoor Sahni on Instagram on October 1, 2018.
A photo of Krishna Raj Kapoor shared by her granddaughter Riddhima Kapoor Sahni on Instagram on October 1, 2018.
Krishna Raj Kapoor, the wife of the late iconic filmmaker and actor Raj Kapoor, died here this morning after a brief illness.
 
She was 87.
 
She is survived by her three sons -- Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor and Rajiv Kapoor, all actors -- and two daughters -- Ritu Nanda and Rima Kapoor-Jain.
 
She was also grandmother to young and popular actors Ranbir Kapoor, Karisma Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan.
 
"My mother passed away at about 5 am today due to cardiac arrest...old age was another factor. We are deeply saddened by her demise," Randhir Kapoor said.
 
Riddhima Kapoor Sahni, daughter of Rishi and Neetu Kapoor, shared pictures of her grandmother on Instagram. "I love you- I will always love you - RIP dadi," she wrote.
 
Krishna Malhotra got married to Raj Kapoor in May, 1946. Her father was a maternal cousin of Raj Kapoor's father, Prithviraj Kapoor, a well-known actor. Krishna's brothers Prem Nath, Rajendra Nath and Narendra Nath were also actors. Her sister Uma is married to actor Prem Chopra.
 
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Renowned harmonium exponent Tulsidas Borkar passes away

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Legendary harmonium exponent Pandit Tulsidas Borkar passed away in a private hospital on Saturday after a brief illness, an official said. He was 83.
 
Borkar had been admitted to Nanavati Super-speciality Hospital where he breathed his last around 10.44 a.m., said an official spokesperson.
 
"He was suffering from chest infection and had difficulties in breathing," said an attending medico.
 
Born in Borim, Goa, on November 18, 1934, Borkar was conferred the Padma Shri in 2016 for his contributions to Indian music.
 
Pandit Borkar, who first learned music from his mother, Jaishree Borkar, is renowned for designing a new model of the harmonium which involved raising the level of the keyboard that was crafted and manufactured by Dashrath Bengude.
 
He also conducted extensive research to improve the tonal quality, tuning and other technical aspects of the instrument, which gave different visual and sound dimensions to the harmonium.
 
He was honoured with the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademic Award, 2005, among many other national and international honours, besides taking part in music concerts all over India, US, Europe, Africa, Middle-East, South Asia and recording solo for top music companies in the world.
 
IANS
 

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Vikram Misri appointed as next Ambassador to China

Vikram Misri
Vikram Misri
Mr. Vikram Misri, presently Ambassador of India to Myanmar, has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to China.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Mr. Misri, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1989 batch, was expected to take up the assignment shortly.
 
Mr. Misri has been Ambassador in Yangon from August 31, 2016.
 
He has served in various capacities at the MEA headquarters and in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) here as well as in various Indian missions in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America.
 
Among other assignments, he has served as Private Secretary to then Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral (April 1997-March 1998); Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office (March 2012-October 2012); Private Secretary to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (October 2012-May 2014); and Private Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi (May 2014-July 2014).
 
He has also served as Deputy High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka (September 2008 - September 2011); Consul General of India in Munich (September 2011-February 2012); and Ambassador of India to Spain (August 2014 to August 2016).
 
Mr. Mistri has a BA (Honours) in History from Hindu College, University of Delhi and an MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur. Before joining the government, he worked for three years in the private sector in the fields of advertising (Lintas India - Bombay and Contract Advertising - Delhi) and advertising film-making. Ambassador Misri is a Fellow of the Aspen Institute, USA´s India Leadership Initiative. 
 
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NDRF chief Sanjay Kumar gets additional charge of Fire Service, Civil Defence & Home Guards

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Mr. Sanjay Kumar, IPS (HP:85), Director General of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), has been given the additional charge of the post of Director General, Fire Service, Civil Defence & Home Guards (FS, CD & HG).
 
Mr. Kumar replaces Mr. Prakash Mishra, who retired from service yesterday, an official press release said.
 
The arrangement will continue till the appointment and joining of successor or till further orders whichever is earlier, the release added.
 
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Legendary commentator Jasdev Singh passes away

Jasdev Singh
Jasdev Singh
Legendary commentator Jasdev Singh, who won millions of admirers with his running commentary in Hindi on sports and other events, passed away here on Tuesday.
 
He was 87. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter .
 
Jasdev Singh was suffering from dementia and old age-related ailments for quite some time. He breathed his last at his residence here this morning, sources close to the family said.
 
Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore condoled the death of Jasdev Singh.“It is with deep sadness that I note the demise of Sh Jasdev Singh, one of our finest commentators. A veteran of @AkashvaniAIR & @DDNational, he covered 9 Olympics, 6 Asian Games & countless Independence Day & Republic Day broadcasts,” the minister tweeted.
 
Jasdev Singh joined All India Radio, Jaipur in 1955, and moved to Delhi in 1963 and thereafter he moved to Doordarshan, where he worked for over 35 years and brought an entirely new dimension and flavour to Hindi commentary.
 
In 1975, India won the Hockey World Cup in Malaysia and after their return the team led by Ajit Pal Singh was felicitated by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at her residence. Jasdev Singh, who did live commentary of the World Cup for All India Radio, was also invited for that function. On seeing Jasdev Singh, Mrs Gandhi went to him and said “Aap ne tou hamare dilon ke dadkaney bada di thi” (You had amplified our heartbeats with your fast paced commentary).
 
Fellow commentator Anupam Ghulati paying his tribute to Jasdev Singh said ”He was an Institution who became a role model for most of the young Hindi commentators."
 
 Veteran sports journalist Jagannath Rao described Jasdev Singh as “a commentator with mellifluent voice” which moved millions of Indians. 
 
Jasdev Singh was a regular at the Olympic Games and covered nine editions of the quadrennial extravaganza from Helsinki (1968) to Melbourne (2000), apart from covering Asian Games, World Cups and Davis Cup.
 
In 1988, during the Seoul Olympics, he was conferred with “Olympic Order” by then International Olympic Council chief Juan Antonio Samaranch for his role in spreading the Olympic movement.
 
He was honoured by the Government with the  Padma Shri in 1985 and with the Padma Bhushan in 2008.
 
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Indian Navy commander Abhilash Tomy rescued from wrecked boat

Commander Abhilash Tomy
Commander Abhilash Tomy
Commander Abhilash Tomy of the Indian Navy, who was stranded in the south Indian Ocean after his boat was wrecked during the Golden Globe Race 2018, was safe after being rescued in a daring mid-sea operation by a French fishing vessel (FV) as an Indian Navy P81 aircraft kept close watch overhead.
 
Commander Tomy, representing India in the race on an indigenously-built sailing vessel "Thuriya", had suffered a severe back injury and was immobilised after the boat was dismasted during bad weather on September 21.
 
"On 24 Sep 18, at about 1130 hrs Indian Time, French Fishing Vessel (FV) Osiris reached in vicinity of ‘Thuriya’ and carried out a successful rescue operation. Indian Navy’s P8I aircraft was also maintaining in the area providing close support and monitoring the rescue operations," a statement from the Ministry of Defence said.
 
"Cdr Abhilash Tomy was rescued by a boat and rescue team from FV Osiris. The rescue team shifted Cdr Abhilash in a stretcher from ‘Thuriya’ to Osiris using their Gemini boat. 
 
"Cdr Abhilash has been reported to be conscious and has been provided with initial medical care. He is presently safe onboard Osiris. Osiris is proceeding to rescue the second sailor from his damaged boat Hanley. 
 
"Thereafter, Osiris will be moving to take shelter at Ile Amsterdam/ Ile S. Paul about 100 nautical miles north of the rescue position. Indian Naval Ship Satpura is closing the islands to take Cdr Abhilash onboard and bring him back to India safely. 
 
"The Indian Navy is truly indebted to all the agencies involved in this rescue operation, especially Royal Australian Navy and FV Osiris for their timely and proactive help," the statement added.
 
Commander Tomy was stranded in an area that was approximately 1,900 nauticals south-west from Perth, Australia and about 2,700 nautical miles from Cape Comorin (Kanyakumari) in India.
 
The Navy's P81 aircraft, opering ex-Mauritius, had visually sighted Thuriya on Sunday and, along with an aircraft from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), had been maintaining a continous watch over the boat.
 
The Australian Rescue Coordination Centre at Canberra was coordinating the rescue mission in conjunction with several agencies including the Australian Defence Department and the Indian Navy. 
 
Indian Naval stealth frigate INS Satpura with a Chetak Helicopter and tanker, INS Jyoti operating in the Indian Ocean had been despatched to the area for the rescue mission.
 
The officer in his last text message had indicated that he was safe on the boat but was immobile due to back injury.
 
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Commander Tomy, who had circumnavigated the globe in 2012-13 in Indian Naval Sailing Vessel (INSV) Mhadei, was the only invitee from Asia in the prestigious Golden Globe Race that commenced from Les Sables d'Olonne harbour in France on July 1.
 
The participants are required to sail around the world, single-handed and non-stop. The uniqueness of the race is that boat designs and technology newer than 1968 are not permitted, hence use of Global Positioning System (GPS), satellite communication, navigational aids, and so on, is forbidden.
 
The Golden Globe Race is being conducted by Sir Robin Knox Johnston of the United Kingdom to commemorate 50 years since the world’s first solo non-stop circumnavigation undertaken by him in 1968 onboard the Indian built boat, Suhaili.
 
Commander Tomy is one of India’s most prominent sailors and is a recipient of the Kirti Chakra and the Mac Gregor and Tenzing Norgay awards.
 
He was sailing in Thuriya, a replica of Suhaili. It was built by Aquarius Shipyard Ltd at Goa. 
 
The race is expected to complete at Les Sables d’Olonne in April 2019. 
 
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A. Gitesh Sarma appointed as Secretary (West) in MEA

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Mr. A. Gitesh Sarma has been appointed as Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs, an official announcement said here today.
 
A notification from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) had approved the appointment.
 
Mr. Sarma, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1986 batch, is currently serving as Additional Secretary (MD) at the MEA headquarters here.
 
Mr. Sarma, 57, has completed his B.A (Hons) and M.A. in Political Science from Delhi University. 
 
He has served as India's Ambassador in Uzbekistan. He has also served in Indian missions in Moscow, Minsk, Odessa (Ukraine), Hong Kong, Islamabad and London.  
 
Among other assignments, he served for some time as Joint Secretary (External Relations) in the Department of Atomic Energy.
 
Mr. Sarma will succeed Ms. Ruchi Ghanashyam, who has been named as India's new High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
 
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Kamlesh Vyas appointed as new Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission

Kamlesh Vyas
Kamlesh Vyas
Mr. Kamlesh Nilkanth Vyas, Director, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), has been appointed as the new Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy and Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission.
 
An official press release said here that the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) had approved the appointment for a period till he attains the age of 64 years, that is up to May 3, 2021, or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
 
Mr. Vyas had taken over as Director, BARC, on February 23, 2016.
 
He is a mechanical engineering graduate from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. After completion of the training in the 22nd Batch of the BARC Training School in 1979, he joined Fuel Design & Development Section of Reactor Engineering Division of BARC.
 
Mr. Vyas has worked for design & analysis of nuclear reactor fuels.  He was also responsible for design & development of a novel fuel for strategic applications.  He has worked extensively in thermal hydraulics and stress analysis of critical reactor core components.  He has played a key role for completion of strategic projects.  He has also participated in design & analysis of the Test Blanket Module planned to be installed in ITER, France.   
 
Mr. Vyas has been conferred several awards, which include Indian Nuclear Society Outstanding Service Award 2011, Homi Bhabha Science and Technology Award 2006, DAE Awards in the years 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013. He is also a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineers.
 
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Well-known Malayalam actor Captain Raju passes away

Captain Raju (Photo by Sivahari/Wikimedia Commons)
Captain Raju (Photo by Sivahari/Wikimedia Commons)
Well-known Malayalam film actor Captain Raju passed away at his residence here this morning after a brief illness. 
 
He was 68. He is survived by wife Prameela, and son Raviraj.
 
During an illustrious career, Raju appeared in nearly 500 films in Malayalam and other South Indian languages Tamil, Telugu and Kannada as well as in Hindi.
 
Some of his stand-out roles were in movies such as "Nadodikattu", "Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha" and "CID Moosa". His last apperance was in the Mammootty-starrer "Masterpiece" which released last year.
 
In late June, Captain Raju had fallen unconscious after suffering a stroke while he was on a flight to Dubai, en route to the United States to attend his son's wedding. The flight was diverted to Muscat in Oman, where he was hospitalised for about a week.
 
Later, on July 2, he was shifted by his family to Kochi for further treatment.
 
Born as Raju Daniel, in Omalloor in Pathanamthitta district, he had quit the Indian Army when he was a captain, and then worked briefly as the marketing chief of a private company in Mumbai. During that period, he acted in several plays in Mumbai. He began his film career in 1981. His first film was Raktham. 
 
Some of his other notable vilms were "Rathilayam", "Aavanazhi", "August 1", "Pazhassi Raja", "Mumbai Police".
 
The movies he directed were "Itha Oru Sneha Gadha" and "Mister Pavanayi 99.99", in which he reprised his character Pavanayi from Naadodikattu.
 
He was often cast as a villain because of his height and towering personality. He has also featured in character roles and in TV serials. In recent years, he also did some comic roles, which were widely appreciated.
 
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Justice Ranjan Gogoi appointed as next Chief Justice of India

Justice Ranjan Gogoi
Justice Ranjan Gogoi
The President has appointed Justice Ranjan Gogoi as the next Chief Justice of India, an official announcement said here today.
 
He will assume the office of Chief Justice on October 3, 2018 after the retirement of the current Chief Justice, Justice Dipak Misra.
 
Born on November 18, 1954, Justice Gogoi was enrolled as an advocate in 1978. He practised in the Gauhati High Court on constitutional, taxation and company matters. He was appointed as a Permanent Judge of the Gauhati High Court on February 28, 2001. On September 9, 2010, he was transferred to the Punjab & Haryana High Court. He was appointed as Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court on February 12 2011. He was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India on April 23, 2012.
 
Justice Gogoi is the senior-most judge of the top court after Chief Justice Misra.
 
He was one of the four Supreme Court judges who had held the unprecedented press conference in January this year, raising concerns about the administration in the apex court, saying it was "not in order". The other three judges were -- Justice J. Chelameswar (now retired), Justice M.B. Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph.
 
Justice Gogoi is from Assam, and he headed the special bench that is monitoring the updation of National Register of Citizens to identify citizens in the northeastern state.
 
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Anshula Kant takes charge as Managing Director of SBI

Anshula Kant
Anshula Kant
Ms. Anshula Kant has taken charge as the Managing Director of State Bank of India (SBI) and would be handling the areas of Stressed Assets, Risk and Compliance. 
 
Prior to this role, she was designated as the Deputy Managing Director (DMD) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the bank.
 
Ms. Kant is a graduate in Economics from Lady Shri Ram College and post-graduate from Delhi School of Economics (DSE). She is also a Certified Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers.
 
She started her career with SBI in 1983 as a Probationary Officer. Across a career spanning three and a half decades, Ms. Kant has gained rich experience in retail banking, corporate credit, cross-border trade and banking in developed markets – both retail and wholesale, a press release from the bank said.
 
Ms. Kant has held several key assignments in SBI including Chief General Manager (CGM) of Mumbai Circle (Maharashtra & Goa) and CEO at SBI Singapore where she was responsible for launching the retail operations, making SBI the first Indian bank to do so in that geography, the release added.
 
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NTR's son and former MP Nandamuri Harikrishna dies in road accident

Nandamuri Harikrishna
Nandamuri Harikrishna
TDP founder NTR's son and actor-politician Nandamuri Harikrishna died in a road accident in Telangana's Nalgonda district early on Wednesday, doctors said. He was 61.
 
Harikrishna, a former Rajya Sabha member and a former Andhra Pradesh minister, sustained critical head injuries when the car in which he was travelling along with two others overturned near Anneparthi. 
 
The vehicle, being driven by Harikrishna, hit the divider while overtaking a vehicle and collided with another vehicle coming from the opposite direction.
 
He was shifted to Kamineni Hospital at Narketpally, where he succumbed. Two others accompanying him were injured.
 
Harikrishna, son of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) founder and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao, was on his way to Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh to attend a marriage.
 
He was a member of the TDP politburo and brother-in-law of TDP President and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
 
He is survived by two wives Lakshmi and Shalini, two sons Junior NTR and Kalyan Ram, both actors, and daughter Suhasini.
 
His eldest son Janki Ram was also killed in road accident in 2014 in the same district. In 2009, Junior NTR had escaped with injuries in a road accident, also in Nalgonda district.
 
Born on September 2, 1956 at Nimmakur in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, Harikrishna, fourth son of NTR, began his film career as a child artiste in the 1960s. 
 
His debut in 1967 was in "Shri Krishnavataram" featuring his father NTR, who was the most popular actor of his times.
 
"Talla Pellamma" (1970), "Tatamma Kala" (1974), "Ram Raheem" (1974), "Daana Veera Shura Karna" (1977), "Sri Ramulayya" (1998) and "Seetharama Raju" (1999) were some of his other films.
 
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Harikrishna was the 'sarathi' (charioteer) of NTR's famous Chaitanya Ratham (chariot of awakening) in 1980s.
 
He had backed Naidu when the latter staged a revolt against NTR in 1995. Following the death of NTR in 1996, he was elected to Andhra Pradesh Assembly from Hindupur, a constituency represented by his legendary father.
 
He served as Minister for Transport in Naidu's cabinet and was also the president of youth wing of the TDP.
 
In 1999, he quit TDP accusing Naidu of deviation from the ideals of NTR and formed a new party called Anna TDP, which failed to make a mark. 
 
In 2006, he rejoined TDP and was elected to Rajya Sabha in 2008. Harkrishna resigned from Rajya Sabha in 2013 in protest over the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
 
Though he continued as TDP politburo member, Harikrishna had openly expressed his displeasure over Naidu promoting his son Nara Lokesh as his successor. 
 
He was reportedly keen to see his son Junior NTR, a popular actor, taking reins of the party founded by NTR in 1982.
 
IANS
 

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Malayalam film director K.K. Haridas passes away

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Malayalam film director K.K. Haridas died on Sunday following a heart attack at a hospital here, film industry sources said.
 
Haridas, 52, started his career as an assistant in the 80s and since then had worked as an associate in 48 films before turning into a full time director. He had directed a total of 20 films.
 
His debut film in 1994 "Vadhu Doctoranu" turned out to be a super hit. His other well known films are "Kakkakum Poochakkum Kalyanam" and "Kinnam Katta Kallan".
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 

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Satheesh Reddy is new DRDO Chairman

G Satheesh Reddy
G Satheesh Reddy
Distinguished aerospace scientist G. Satheesh Reddy was on Saturday appointed the Chairman of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) and Secretary in the Department of Defence Research and Development (DDR&D).
 
Reddy succeeds S. Christopher, who retired in June. 
 
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved Reddy's appointment for a period of two years from the date of assumption of charge or until further orders, whichever is earlier, an official statement said. 
 
Reddy, renowned for his research and development in missile systems and sustained contributions towards advancement of aerospace technologies and industries, is currently the Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. 
 
Reddy led the conceptualization, design and development of inertial sensors, navigation schemes, algorithms systems, calibration methodologies, sensor models, simulation along with development of satellite navigation receivers and hybrid navigation systems. 
 
Under his leadership, advanced products and varieties of avionics systems have been produced and successfully flight tested in strategic programmes of the country.
 
A graduate in Electronics and Communication Engineering from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU) in Andhra Pradesh, Reddy is a renowned navigation scientist. 
 
He holds the distinction of being inducted as fellow of Royal Institute of Navigation, London, Royal Aeronautical Society, UK, and has been awarded the full member diploma as a Foreign Member of the Academy of Navigation and Motion Control, Russia. 
 
He is an Honorary Fellow of Computer Society of India and Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering (FNAE), Aeronautical Society of India, Institution of Engineering and Technology, UK, Associate Fellow of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, US, and many other professional and scientific bodies in the country and abroad. 
 
Reddy received the prestigious Indian Science Congress Association Homi J. Bhabha Memorial award. 
 
He is the first defence scientist working in India to receive the Silver Medal of Royal Aeronautical Society, UK, and has been selected for the first IEI (India) and IEEE (USA) joint award for Engineering Excellence.
 
IANS
 

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Orthodox Church bishop Thomas Mar Athanasios dies after falling from train

Thomas Mar Athanasios
Thomas Mar Athanasios
Thomas Mar Athanasios, one of the most senior bishops of the Kerala-based Orthodox Syrian Church and the Metropolitan of its Chengannur Diocese, passed away after falling from a train near here early this morning.
 
He was 80.
 
According to various accounts, the bishop was standing near the door of the coach as he was to alight at the Ernakulam (South) railway station here.
 
He fell from the coach when the door suddenly slammed on him when the train was near the Pullepady bridge between Ernakulam South at about 5.30 am , the accounts said.
 
His body has been  kept at the Ernakulam General Hospital, sources said, adding that the arrangements for the funeral were yet to be finalised.
 
The bishop was on his way back from Vadodara in Gujarat, a city with which he  has had a long association, going back to the days before he became a priest.
 
Born  on April 3, 1938, he took his B. Sc. (Physics) from S. B. College, Changanacherry, B. Ed. from N.S.S. College, Changanacherry before completing his B. D. from the Serampore College, Calcutta. He later completed his Master of Education (M. Ed.) from M.S. University of Baroda.
 
He was the founder of the Basil School in Vadodara and went on to found six other schools in Gujarat.
 
He became the first Metropolitan of the Diocese of Chengannur on August , 1985. Apart from that, he served the church in  various other capacities.
 
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Congress leader Gurudas Kamat dead, funeral on Thursday

Gurudas Kamat
Gurudas Kamat
Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Gurudas Kamat died in New Delhi on Wednesday following a massive heart attack. He was 63.
 
According to a family friend, Kamat complained of severe chest pain while having his morning tea at his home. He called out his driver who rushed him to a hospital in Chanakyapuri where he died within minutes.
 
Kamat, 63, is survived by wife Maharookh and son Sunil.
 
His body will be flown to Mumbai on Wednesday night and the funeral shall be held in Chembur on Thursday afternoon, said a party official.
 
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, among other leaders, condoled the death.
 
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi visited the hospital where Kamat passed away and placed a wreath on his body.
 
Respected across party lines, the late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had picked Kamat as part of a four-member official delegation to the UN in 2003 along with former Prime Minister I.K. Gujral and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah.
 
Kamat represented former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the UN International Conference on Federalism in Addis Ababa in 2010.
 
A five-time Lok Sabha member from Mumbai, Kamat served as Union Minister of State for Home in 2009 but abruptly resigned in 2011 citing "personal reasons" after his appointment as Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Drinking Water and Sanitation.
 
He served as Union Minister of State for Communications and IT.
 
Kamat resigned from the Congress in 2016 over his reported unhappiness with the functioning of the local party unit in Mumbai but was persuaded by the top leadership to withdraw it.
 
In April 2017, he sprang another surprise by quitting all party posts though he remained a staunch Congressman till the end.
 
Born in North Canara district's Ankola village in Karnataka and educated in Mumbai, he was a lawyer by qualification, regarded an able organiser and a good orator.
 
Kamat was President of the party's student wing NSUI (1976-1980), Indian Youth Congress chief (1987-88), Mumbai Congress President (2003-08) and later served the party as a General Secretary.
 
Rahul Gandhi, who is in Germany, tweeted: "The sudden passing away of Kamatji is a massive blow to the Congress family. Gurudasji helped build the Congress in Mumbai and was greatly respected and admired by all."
 
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Manmohan Singh said: "I am shocked and saddened to learn about the sudden and untimely demise of Gurudas Kamat."
 
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge wrote to his son: "I am extremely saddened to learn about the demise of your beloved father... He was a dedicated public servant and a mass leader of Maharashtra. He will be missed by the country and Congress in Maharashtra."
 
Fadnavis said he was saddened by Kamat's demise.
 
Sharad Pawar said the country had "lost a leader who knew the pulse of Mumbaikars and would always voice their concern in Parliament".
 
Maharashtra Congress President Ashok Chavan said he "lost a great colleague".
 
A pall of gloom descended at the Mumbai Congress headquarters near Azad Maidan - which Kamat headed for several years - with many senior leaders and activists seen breaking down.
 
"It is an irreparable loss. Kamatji took pains to build up the Mumbai Congress and maintained contact with all the grassroots workers," said Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam.
 
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Mumbai North-East Kirit Somaiya said: "We have lost a gentleman politician, an MP always active for the betterment of Mumbai though we contested Lok Sabha elections against each other."
 
On Tuesday evening, Kamat had greeted party leader Ahmed Patel on his birthday and congratulated him for his re-appointment as Congress treasurer. In his last tweet hours before the end, Kamat extended his greetings to the people on Eid-ul-Azha.
 
IANS
 

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Senior Congress leader Gurudas Kamat passes away

Gurudas Kamat
Gurudas Kamat
Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Gurudas Kamat passed away in a private hospital in New Delhi following a massive heart attack on Wednesday, party officials said. He was 63.
 
Kamat is survived by his wife Maharookh and a son, Sunil, said a close family friend.
 
According to the friend, while having his morning tea at his New Delhi home, Kamat suddenly complained of severe chest pain.
 
He called out to his driver who rushed him to the Primus Hospital in Chanakyapuri where he is said to have succumbed within minutes.
 
Close aides Dharmesh Vyas and Ketan Shah in Mumbai said they could not believe the news and felt as if "they had lost their elder brother and guiding light".
 
The youthful face of the party, Kamat, a five-time MP from Mumbai North-East Lok Sabha constituency, served as Union Minister of State for Home in 2009, but quit in 2011.
 
Later, he immersed himself in party affairs as the general secretary but suddenly quit all posts last year, though he remained a staunch Congressman till the end.
 
In a condolence message, Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said "a very dynamic and renowned face of the Congress and a great leader Gurudas Kamat is no more".
 
Normally hale and hearty, Kamat on Tuesday night tweeted his Bakri Eid greetings to all saying: "Eid Mubarak to all my friends celebrating Eid-Al-Adha. May all your prayers be accepted. May peace, joy and happiness never depart from your lives and homes."
 
IANS

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