Appointments - Current Affairs for May,2017

Month and Year:   
▼ Shri George Kurien appointed NCM Vice Chairperson   [05-31-17]

The Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has appointed Shri George Kurien as Vice-Chairman of National Commission for Minorities.

Shri Kurien is a renowned social and educational activist from Kerala.

Earlier, noted social activist from Uttar Pradesh, Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi was appointed as Chairman of National Commission for Minorities.

Other appointed members of the Commission are Ms Sulekha Kumbhare, Shri Sunil Singhi and Shri Vada Dasturji Khurshed Kaikobad Dastoor.

▼ Google VP new IAMAI chairman   [05-26-17]

Google’s vice-president for South East Asia and India, Rajan Anandan has been appointed as the new chairman of Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

Rajan will succeed FreeCharge’s co-founder and chief executive officer Kunal Shah.

The other new office bearers of the IAMAI will be MakeMyTrip chairman & Group CEO Deep Kalra who will be the vice-chairman.

He succeeds Saavn co-founder and president Vinodh Bhat. Facebook’s managing director (India & South Asia), Umang Bedi will be the new treasurer of IAMAI.

Subho Ray will continue to be the president of IAMAI. The tenure of the office bearers of the new council will be for two years.

The new council has to work towards improving the internet connectivity especially in rural areas. It is estimated that in a population of 906 million, only 156 million are using the internet in rural areas. IAMAI has to take steps to reach to the potential 750 million users living in rural heartlands.

Another area which needs the focus of the committee is the promotion of local language content. The Indian languages accounts for only 0.1% of the content on the worldwide web.

It is estimated that enabling Indian language content will help to achieve a growth of 39% in the current user base of India.

IAMAI: Know More

  • IAMAI is a not-for-profit industry body registered under the Societies Act, 1986.
  • It was founded in 2004.
  • Its aim is to improve and expand the value added services pertaining to mobiles and several online services.
  • It is the only existing specialized body that represents the interests of online and mobile value added services

▼ Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: New WHO DG   [05-25-17]

Former Ethiopian Health Minister Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has been elected as the new Director-General of the World Health Organisation.

This election has earned the distinction of being the first election which saw the participation of all WHO member states in the voting process.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus defeated the other two contendors to the post, namely, UK’s Dr David Nabarro and Pakistan’s Dr Sania Nishtar.

The head of the organization is the Director-General (DG), appointed by the World Health Assembly. Earlier stincts of Dr Tedros includes the post of Ethiopia’s Foreign Affairs Minister (2012-2016) and Health Minister (2005-2012).

He has also served as chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Also as chair of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership Board, as well as co-chair of the Board of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

During his tenure at the helm of WHO, Dr Tedros will have to tackle challenges like the spread of the Zika virus and Ebola, along with existing challenges posed by Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, to name a few.

WHO is also at present facing the financial challenges as a result of the squeeze on donor funds. WHO The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health.

WHO: Know More

  • Established on 7 April 1948, it succeeded the Health Organization, which was an agency of the League of Nations.
  • It is a member of the United Nations Development Group and its headquarters are located at Geneva. WHO flag features the Rod of Asclepius as a symbol for healing

▼ Saurabh Agrawal - Tata Son’s new CFO   [05-24-17]

Tata Group Chairman N Chandrasekaran announced a key recruitment at holding company Tata Sons on 22nd May 2017, of veteran investment banker Saurabh Agrawal as group chief financial officer.

Agrawal, who will join from July, is currently the head of strategy with the Aditya Birla Group.

As group CFO at Tata Sons, he will have to focus on bringing back some of the loss-making businesses on track. Agrawal was instrumental in handling the Idea-Vodafone merger deal, as well as the Grasim-Aditya Birla Nuvo merger for the Birla entity.

It will be the second big appointment by Chandrasekaran, after that of Ankur Verma, former managing director of investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, who joined Tata Group in March.

Prior to the Birla job, Saurabh Agrawal was heading corporate finance at Standard Chartered Bank in India and South Asia.

He had also been the head of investment banking at DSP Merrill Lynch, where he worked with Chandrasekaran on Tata Consultancy Services’ initial public offer of equity in 2004, beside later acquisitions.

Agrawal brings deep capital markets knowledge and valuable cross-industry experience to this critical leadership role in the Tata Group.

Saurabh Agrawal is a graduate of IIT Roorkee, with a post-graduate management degree from IIM Calcutta.

One of the stated complaints of Tata Group patriarch Ratan Tata against former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry was that the latter had not appointed a group CFO after Ishaat Hussain retired as Tata Sons’ finance director in 2012.

The group CFO position is important and considered a second link between Tata Sons and its subsidiaries, after the chairman.
The group CFO will also have to decide on job cuts ensure that Tata Sons gives enough dividends to Tata Trusts, which own 66 per cent stake in the company.

▼ Air Marshal PN Pradhan is IDS Deputy Chief   [05-22-17]

Air Marshal PN Pradhan has been appointed as the Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Operations).

IDS Integrated Defence Staff was created in 2001 following the recommendation of GoM which was set up after the Kargil war to review India’s defence management.

IDS was established to ensure a high degree of synergy between the Armed forces.

IDS works towards integration of policies, war fighting and procurement by employing best management practices.

The IDS comprises of Service Officers, Civilian Officers and Scientists who perform roles and functions allocated to them based on responsibilities of Integrated Defence Staff.

PN Pradhan was commissioned as a pilot in Indian Air Force in 1981.

Pradhan has held four command tenures and various key positions like Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Transport and Helicopters) and Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Personal Airmen & Civilians) at Air Headquarters and served as the Senior Air Staff Officer of Southern Air Command.

Pradhan was associated with the induction and operationalisation of Embraer-135, BBJ and C-130 fleets into the Indian Airforce.

In recognition of his distinguished service, he was awarded with Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2014.

Ati Vishisht Seva Medal: Know More

  • Ati Vishisht Seva Medal is a military award of India given to recognize “distinguished service of an exceptional order” to all ranks of the armed forces. The award can also be granted posthumously.
  • Category: Peacetime distinguished service medal
  • Awarded for: Distinguished service of an exceptional order.
  • Established: 26 January 1960
  • Next (Lower): Uttam Yudh Seva Medal
  • Next (Higher): Vir Chakra

▼ Ovais Sarmad appointed UNFCCC deputy exec secretary   [05-19-17]

Ovais Sarmad, a senior Indian official, in the second week of May 2017 was appointed as the Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The appointment was made after consultation with the Conference of Parties through its Bureau.

Sarmad was appointed to the post at the assistant secretary-general level by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Sarmad will succeed Canada’s Richard Kinley.

At present, Ovais Sarmad serves as Chief of Staff to the Director General of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

He joined IOM in 1990, in Geneva, where he served notably as chief of budget, director of resource management, director of the Global Administrative Centre and chief of Mission to the Philippines.

He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Hyderabad’s Osmania University. He also holds a professional certification in management accountancy from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants in London.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an international environmental treaty negotiated at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992.

The treaty entered into force on 21 March 1994. Its objective is to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”.

One of the first tasks set by the UNFCCC was for signatory nations to establish national greenhouse gas inventories of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals, which were used to create the 1990 benchmark levels for accession of Annex I countries to the Kyoto Protocol and for the commitment of those countries to GHG reductions.

The UNFCCC is also the name of the United Nations Secretariat charged with supporting the operation of the Convention, with offices in Haus Carstanjen, and UN Campus (known as Langer Eugen) Bonn, Germany.

▼ Mark Lowcock is UN Humanitarian chief   [05-16-17]

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed British humanitarian expert Mark Lowcock to be the next U.N. humanitarian chief. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric indicated

that Lowcock will replace Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien in September.

O’Brien, who is also British, will stay until the end of August to complete several initiatives and reforms.

Lowcock is currently the top civil servant in the government’s Department for International Development.

He has worked in that department and its predecessor since 1985 and has held diverse jobs including postings in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Kenya and leadership posts at headquarters in London.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs mobilizes and coordinates humanitarian action with international, national and civil society partners to provide aid during disasters, emergencies and conflicts.

▼ Leena Nair takes over as Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs   [05-16-17]

On May 15, 2017, Ms. Leena Nair took charge as Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs. A 1982 batch IAS officer of TN cadre, she was Secretary for the WCD ministry before this.

The Ministry was set up in 1999 after the bifurcation of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment with the objective of providing more focused approach on the integrated socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes (STs), the most underprivileged of the Indian Society, in a coordinated and planned manner.

Before the formation of the Ministry, tribal affairs were handled by different Ministries at different points in time.

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is the nodal Ministry for overall policy, planning and coordination of programmes for development of ST’s.

To this end, Ministry of Tribal Affairs has undertaken activities that follow from the subjects allocated under the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961.

The programmes and schemes of the Ministry are intended to support and supplement, through financial assistance, the efforts primarily of other Central Ministries, the State Governments and partly of voluntary organizations, and to fill critical gaps in institutions and programmes taking into account the situation of STs.

The primary responsibility for promoting the interests of Scheduled Tribes rests with all the Central Ministries. The Ministry supplements their efforts by way of various developmental interventions in critical sectors through specially tailored schemes.

Ministry of Tribal Affairs

  • Website: tribal.nic.in
  • Formed: 1999
  • Jurisdiction: India
  • Headquarters: Shastri Bhawan, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road, New Delhi - 110 011
  • Cabinet minister: Jual Oram
  • Minister of state: Jasvantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor
  • Programs: Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana

▼ Vinay Mohan Kwatra: India's ambassador to France   [05-15-17]

Seasoned diplomat Vinay Mohan Kwatra, currently a joint secretary in the Prime Ministers Office, has been appointed as the next ambassador to France.

Announcing his appointment, the External Affairs Ministry said Kwatra is expected to take up his assignment shortly.

A 1988-batch foreign service officer, Kwatra will succeed Mohan Kumar, who is retiring.

Apart from having experience of dealing with the UN organisations such as International Labour Organisation (ILO) and World Health Organisation (WHO), he has served in Indian diplomatic missions in China and the US.

He has also held the position of joint secretary in-charge of the counter-terrorism division in the MEA.

He has masters in science and also holds a diploma in international relations.

Kwatra speaks French and has a knowledge of Russian works and he is very fluent in Hindi.

Kwatra was considered to be the private secretary on Prime minister Narendra Modi but he was later replaced by another IFS officer Sanjiv Singla.

As a diplomat, Kwatra’s first assignment was in Geneva and later he dealt with United Nations organisations such as International Labour Organisation, World health Organisation and so on.

He was posted in Consulate in Durban of south Africa where he was mainly responsible for commercial and economic work.

Later Vinay Mohan Kwatra was posted to Deputy China of Mission to the Embassy in China, where he worked on trade and commerce.

Kwatra served at the Indian Embassy in Tashkent in the economic and political wing.

Vinay Kwatra also served as director in MEA where he dealt with India’s relations with Iran and Afghanistan. He also handled India’s development work in Afghanistan.

Vinay Mohan Kwatra worked as director and head of commerce, trade and finance issues at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

In May 2010, Kwatra moved to Washington DC where he served as the head of the commerce wing in the Embassy of India.

After taking over as OSD in PMO, Kwatra was assigned to monitor PM’s visits abroad.

▼ Aruna Sundararajan appointed next DoT secretary   [05-15-17]

Aruna Sundararajan was on 10 May 2017 appointed as Secretary of Department of Telecommunications.

However, she will continue to serve as the Secretary for Union Ministry of Electronics and IT (Meity).

Aruna succeeds PK Pujari, who was appointed to the post temporarily in March 2017.

Sundararajan’s Secretary position will also be temporary.

Sundararajan is an IAS officer who played an important role in creating an IT department for the Kerala government in 1998.

She has rich experience in overseeing operations of Kerala Government’s Bharat Broadband Scheme which provides subsidized broadband connections.

Her previous important posts include IT secretary for Kerala Government and CEO of National Common Service Centre.

The post of full time Secretary of DoT has been lying vacant since the removal of J S Deepak from the post in March 2017.

▼ ACC appoints Sanjay Mitra as defence secretary   [05-12-17]

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of 1982 West Bengal cadre IAS officer Sanjay Mitra as the next defence secretary.

He will have a fixed tenure of two years. Prior to this appointment, Mitra was the secretary in the ministry of road transport and highways.

Other appointments include Anant Kumar Singh, a 1984 batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh who has been appointed as the secretary in the textiles ministry.

Anant Kumar Singh is the first officer from the 1984 batch to get the secretary-level appointment. Rashmi Verma who was the secretary in the textiles ministry has been moved to a similar position in the ministry of tourism.

Rajiv Srivastava, a 1981 batch IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre, will be the next secretary in the ministry of woman and child development.

Leena Nair, a 1982 batch IAS of Tamil Nadu Cadre has been made secretary in the ministry of tribal affairs.

Jagdish Prasad Meena has been appointed as secretary in the department of consumer affairs.

BR Sharma, a 1984 batch IAS officer of the Jammu and Kashmir cadre has been appointed as additional secretary in the home ministry.

▼ MEA appoints new ambassadors   [05-11-17]

Pooja Kapur has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Bulgaria.

Pooja Kapur, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer – 1996 batch, presently serves as the Joint Secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs.

Venu Rajamony was appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Netherlands.

Rajamony, President Pranab Mukherjee’s press secretary, was a student of Kochi’s Maharaja’s College.

He then pursued M.A. in International Relations at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

Rajamony topped the civil services examinations in 1986, after which he was inducted into the Indian Foreign Services (IFS)

▼ Braj Bihari Kumar appointed ICSSR Chairman   [05-5-17]

The Union government has appointed Braj Bihari Kumar as Chairman of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), which is dedicated to social science research in India.

He replaces eminent academic S.K. Thorat, who was appointed by the UPA government.

Mr. Kumar, 76, is the founding member of Astha Bharati, a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting the “India’s unity and integrity.”

It publishes journals Dialogue and Chintan Srijan.

He was chosen by a selection committee comprising National Research Professor Ashok Modak, Panjab University emeritus professor Jitendra Mohan and historian Satish Mittal.

Vice-Chancellors have been appointed for Nagaland Central University and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

Tariq Mansoor, principal of AMU’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, will replace Lt. General (retired) Jameeruddin Shah as Vice-Chancellor of AMU.

Pardesi Lal, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Nagaland University, will become the Vice-Chancellor.

Braj Bihari Kumar: Know More

  • Born in 1941, Kumar has a MSc in chemistry and anthropology, MA in Hindi and a doctorate in anthropology.
  • Kumar is ex-principal of Sao Change Government College, Tuensang (Nagaland), and Science College, Kohima, and has written, edited and co-authored 136 books.
  • Problems of Ethnicity in the North-East India is among the books he has edited.
  • He has authored a book titled Naga Identity Kumar’s name was shortlisted by a selection panel.
  • Apart from Kumar, I K Bajaj and P M Kamath were also on the shortlist.

▼ Shobana Kamineni is CII chairperson 2017-2018   [05-5-17]

Shobana Kamineni, Executive Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd, has taken over as the new President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for the year 2017-18.

She takes over from Dr Naushad Forbes, Co-Chairman, Forbes Marshall Limited.

Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises, is the new President Designate, CII.

Bharti Enterprises is one of India’s leading business groups with interests in telecom, agri and food business, financial services, retail, realty, and communication & media devices.

Uday Kotak, Executive Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited is the new Vice President of CII.

Kotak is the Co-Chair of the India-UK Financial Partnership (IUKFP) with Sir Gerry Grimstone as the other Co-Chair.

About Shobana Kamineni

  • AHEL is Asia’s foremost integrated healthcare organization.
  • Kamineni helms the Apollo Global Projects Consultancy, which steers the planning, design and execution of new projects.
  • She also heads Apollo Pharmacy, presently the fastest growing business within AHEL. In addition, Kamineni is Vice-Chairperson of the KEI Group, a diversified logistics, leisure & infrastructure business.
  • She is an active member of CII and has been a recipient of prestigious national awards for Entrepreneurship and Leadership.
  • Kamineni holds a B.A. in Economics from Stella Maris College, Chennai and an accelerated Diploma in Hospital Administration from Columbia University, New York.

▼ Anthony Lianzuala appointed CGA   [05-2-17]

Mr. Anthony Lianzuala took over as the New Controller General of Accounts (CGA) in national capital in May, 2017.

Earlier, the Government of India had appointed Mr. Anthony Lianzuala, a 1982-batch Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) Officer, as the new Controller General of Accounts (CGA), Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance with effect from May 1, 2017.

He will be the First person from the North-Eastern Region to hold this position.

Mr Lianzuala, a graduate from the Hindu College of Delhi University, has vast and rich experience in the government both at the Centre and the State levels.

He worked at higher positions in the Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT), Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Rural Development.

Mr Lianzuala was the first Director of training institute in the field of Public Financial Management and Accounting in the North-East named INGAF-NER, based in Aizawl, Mizoram.

He is highly credited for his IT initiatives in the North-Eastern Region. He was instrumental in computerising the functions of the State Treasuries of Mizoram.

He has also served in Mizoram as Secretary in various departments including Agricultural Marketing, Border Trade and Relief & Rehabilitation.

He was also selected as Managing Director of North-Eastern Agricultural Marketing Corporation (NERAMAC), a Public-Sector Undertaking, based in Guwahati.

▼ T. Krishnakumar takes charge as Coca-Cola India President    [05-2-17]

Venkatesh Kini, President – India and South-West Asia, Coca-Cola, will step aside and give charge to T Krishnakumar from May 1, 2017.

This is in keeping with the change which the global beverages major is seeing at its Atlanta headquarters, with new CEO James Quincey taking charge soon.

Coca-Cola will also see another company veteran, Vamsi Mohan, taking over as South-West Asia Regional Director for Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB) and Christina Ruggiero as CEO of HCCB.

Krishnakumar was earlier serving as CEO and South-West Asia Regional Director of HCCB, and Ruggiero as Chief Procurement Officer for Coca-Cola System in North America, and President and CEO for Bottlers’ Sales and Services, LLC.

Mohan is currently Bottling Investments Group Regional Director for Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia.

The transition also comes at a time when Coca-Cola India has been facing challenging times and a single-digit decline in sales volumes for its India and South-West Asia business in the January-March period.

Kini, who has been President since July 2013, termed his movement as personal. The company is designing a new operating model which is growth-oriented and consumer-centred.

Coca-Cola: Know More

  • Manufacturer: The Coca-Cola Company
  • Introduced: 8 May 1886
  • Color: Caramel E-150d
  • Related products: Pepsi, Irn-Bru, RC Cola, Inca Kola, Kola Real, Cavan Cola, Postobón, Afri-Cola

▼ Haryana government appoints BS Sandhu as DG   [05-2-17]

The Haryana government on 27 April 2017 appointed senior IPS officer Baljit Singh Sandhu as the new Director General of Haryana Police.

The 1984 batch IPS officer would be replacing K P Singh, who has been appointed as the Director General of Prisons.

This major reshuffle is being seen as an effort by the Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government to pacify a section of their party’s dissident MLAs and to put a fresh face in front of the public.

Sandhu was previously serving as the Chairman and MD of Haryana Police Housing Corporation in Panchkula.

The Haryana government had appointed KP Singh, a 1985-batch IPS officer as the state’s Chief of police on 13 April 2016.

Singh was appointed in place of Yashpal Singal, who was removed after the major outbreak of violence during the Jat agitation in February 2016.

PR Deo, a 1986-batch officer would be taking over Sandhu’s previous position as the CMD of the Haryana Police Housing Corporation after his return from Central deputation.

Other major reshuffling includes appointment of1985-batch officers, K Selvaraj and Rajwant Pal Singh as the DGP Railways and OSD Rules and as the Commandant General (Home Guard) and Director (Civil Defence) respectively.