Appointments - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

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1)   Which former AC Milan football star has been elected mayor of Tbilisi?
- Published on 23 Oct 17

a. Guram Kashia
b. Girogi Loria
c. Jaba Kankava
d. Kakha Kalazde
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Kakha Kalazde

Georgia announced on 22 Oct 2017 that former AC Milan football star Kakha Kaladze had been elected mayor of its capital Tbilisi.

The country's election administration said on its website that Kaladze won 51% of the vote in 21st Oct 2017 municipal election.

The 39-year-old played for AC Milan between 2001 and 2010, helping the team to twice win the Champions League.

He previously played for Dynamo Kiev and Dinamo Tbilisi and also captained Georgia's national side.

He quit football in 2012 while playing for Genoa in order to devote himself to politics and campaign alongside billionaire tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili to challenge then-president Mikheil Saakashvili.

He became energy minister in October 2012 after Ivanishvili's coalition scored a shock parliamentary election victory over Saakashvili's party.

In July this year, he resigned to run as mayor of the capital, a city of 1.2 million.

2)   Who has been appointed the CEO of Tata SIA JV Vistara?
- Published on 17 Oct 17

a. Phee Teik Yeoh
b. Leslie Thng
c. Goh Choon Phong
d. Tom Enders
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Leslie Thng

Full service carrier Vistara on Monday said Leslie Thng has taken over as its Chief Executive Officer after receiving all requisite approvals.

Mr. Thng, whose appointment is effective from Oct 2017, replaces Phee Teik Yeoh, who has returned to Singapore Airlines.

A joint venture between Tata group and Singapore Airlines, the airline began its commercial operations in January 2015.

Currently, it has a fleet of 16 aircraft and has ambitious expansion plans, including flying to overseas destinations.

He has joined the carrier from Budget Aviation Holdings - a Singapore Airlines Holding Company - where he was serving as the Chief Commercial Officer.

Mr. Thng started his career with Singapore Airlines in 1999 and has held many senior positions at the carrier. Among others, he has served as Chief Executive of Silk Air.

TATA SIA Airlines Ltd operates under the brand name Vistara.

3)   Who has been appointed the new ambassador to PRC by India?
- Published on 16 Oct 17

a. Gautam H Bambawale
b. Ajay Bisaria
c. Vijay Keshav Gokhale
d. Hardeep Singh Puri
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Gautam H Bambawale

1984-batch Indian Foreign Service Officer Gautam H Bambawale has been officially appointed as India’s new ambassador to the People’s Republic of China.

Along expected lines, the assignment will be taken up shortly by Bambawale who is currently serving as India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan since February 2016.

An old China hand, Bambawale had opted for Mandarin as his foreign language and served in Hong Kong and Beijing between 1985 and 1991.

He can speak Chinese and German fluently.

Bambawale has adequate experience of dealing with crisis with China in the past.

During the 21-day tense standoff at Depsang in 2013, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar was the ambassador in Beijing, while Gautam was dialling numbers from Delhi as Joint Secretary (East Asia) in MEA Headquarters in South Block then.

Bambawale is said to share a close working experience and rapport with Jaishankar and had also served as India’s first appointed Consul General in Guangzhou in 2007.

Bambawale replaces senior diplomat and 1981-batch IFS officer Vijay Gokhale, who will be homeward bound soon to take up his new assignment as Secretary Economic Relations in MEA.

Indian envoy to Poland and Lithuania, Ajay Bisaria is likely to succeed Gautam Bambawale in Islamabad as High Commissioner.

Gautam Bambewale: Previous Posts

  • In his diplomatic career, Gautam has held wide ranging assignments, including Director in Americas Division of the Ministry shaping up relations with US and Canada.
  • He was also Director of the Indian Cultural Centre in Berlin, Germany between 1994-98, as well as Deputy Chief for the Division of National Security Affairs, Defence and International Policy in the Prime Minister’s Office in the past.
  • He was also serving as Ambassador to Bhutan prior to his Pakistan posting.

4)   Who has been appointed the UNESCO head w.e.f 15th Oct 2017?
- Published on 16 Oct 17

a. Audrey Azoulay
b. Irina Bokova
c. Christine Lagarde
d. Veronica Dauge
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Audrey Azoulay

UNESCO’s executive board today chose former French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay to be the UN cultural agency’s next leader over a Qatari candidate in an unusually heated race overshadowed by Mideast tensions.

The US announcement this week that it’s quitting UNESCO rocked the multi-day election and heightened concerns about the agency’s funding and future direction.

Azoulay succeeds outgoing Director-General Irina Bokova of Bulgaria, whose eight-year term was marred by financial woes and criticism over Palestine’s inclusion as a member.

US and Israel said they plan to pull out of the Paris-based organisation over its perceived anti-Israel bias.

Audrey secured a win in her surprise 30-28 vote win today over Qatari candidate Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari.

UNESCO’s general assembly will have to sign off next month on the executive board’s leadership pick, but it’s seen as a formality.

The new director will set priorities for the organisation best known for its World Heritage Programme to protect cultural sites and traditions.

The agency also works to improve education for girls, promote an understanding of the Holocaust’s horrors, defend media freedom and coordinate science about climate change.

Azoulay, a Jewish woman, had started the week’s voting with much less support but built up backing as other candidates dropped out and won a runoff earlier today against Egypt’s candidate.

The vote was a huge blow to Arab states, who had long wanted to lead the UN educational, scientific and cultural organisation.

UNESCO has previously had European, Asian, African and American chiefs, but never an Arab one since the organisation was founded in 1945 following World War II to promote world peace through culture.

The agency’s inclusion of Palestine as a member state in 2011 complicated this push, as did Qatar’s diplomatic dispute with Arab neighbours over accusations of sponsoring Islamic extremism.

Azoulay will be the second French leader of the organisation since Rene Maheu, UNESCO’s director general from 1961-74.

Azoulay’s father is Moroccan and was an influential adviser to Moroccan kings, so she does have a connection to the Arab world.

5)   Who is the chairman of FTII w.e.f 11th Oct 2017?
- Published on 12 Oct 17

a. Gajendra Chauhan
b. Anupam Kher
c. Prakash Jha
d. Madhur Bhandarkar
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Anupam Kher

Bringing to an end the controversial tenure of Gajendra Chauhan as the chief of India's premier film and television school, the ministry of information and broadcasting appointed acclaimed actor Anupam Kher chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).

Kher replaced Chauhan, whose selection in 2014 ran into rough weather almost immediately with students and illustrious alumni of the Pune-based institute attacking his poor track record in filmmaking and acting, besides his alleged inadequacy to handle the affairs of FTII.

Kher's appointment was widely welcomed by the film and theatre fraternity.

Anupam Kher: Know More

  • Born in 1955 in Shimla, and a graduate of Delhi's National School of Drama, Kher is considered one of the most prolific and versatile actors in the Hindi film industry.
  • His acting career spans over 35 years, with critically acclaimed performances in Saaransh (1984), Daddy and Khosla Ka Ghosla! (2006), among others.
  • He was also conferred the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to stage and cinema.
  • It is not the first time that Kher has been chosen by the government to hold an administrative position.
  • Kher led NSD and the Central Board of Film Certification in the past.
  • While Chauhan's appointment was confirmed in June 2015, he could only assume office in January 2016 because of a 139-day strike by students opposing his appointment as a political move.

6)   What marks a first for the government of India while appointing the AYUSH department secretary?
- Published on 12 Oct 17

a. Appointment of an Ayurveda expert
b. Appointment is for 8 years
c. Both a and b
d. Neither a nor b
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Appointment of an Ayurveda expert

Secretary level appointments: Ayurveda expert as official

In a first, the government appointed an Ayurveda expert the secretary of the AYUSH department.

In a major bureaucratic reshuffle, the government also made senior IAS officer Ajay Kumar Jha the new expenditure secretary.

According to an official order, Jha, a 1982-batch officer of Manipur cadre, has been appointed the Officer on Special Duty in the Department of Expenditure with immediate effect.

He will be taking over as the expenditure secretary from Ashok Lavasa who retires on October 31. Advertisement

In a departure from the convention of appointing bureaucrats to the position of secretary, Vadiya Rajesh Kotecha, who was appointed the special secretary in the AYUSH ministry in June this year, was made its secretary for a period of three years, the order said.

The three-year tenure of Kotecha, a former vice- chancellor of Gujarat Ayurveda University in Jamnagar, will also include his term as special secretary.

A Bihar-cadre IAS officer of the 1983 batch, C K Mishra, who was the health and AYUSH secretary, will be the new environment secretary, in place of Jha.

Preeti Sudan, a 1983-batch officer from Andhra Pradesh, has been appointed the new health secretary.

Chief Secretary of Arunachal Pradesh Shankuntala Gamlin, a 1984-batch IAS officer of UT cadre, will be the new secretary of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DIVYANGJAN).

Sports Secretary Injeti Srinivas, an IAS officer of 1983 batch from Odisha cadre, has been appointed a secretary, corporate affairs.

Former UP chief secretary Rahul Prasad Bhatnagar will take Srinivas's place in the sports ministry.

Alok Shrivastava, a 1984-batch IAS officer from Madhya Pradesh, will be the new secretary of the Department of Justice. He was the special secretary in the shipping ministry.

Gopal Krishna, a 1983-batch officer of the West Bengal cadre, has been appointed the secretary of the shipping ministry.

Ravi Kant, an IAS officer of 1984 batch from Bihar cadre, will be the new secretary of the Department of Food and Public Distribution.

K V Eapen, an IAS officer of Assam-Meghalaya, who was at present in his cadre, will be the new secretary in the Department of Administrative Reforms.

Ram Moban Mishra, a 1987-batch IAS officer from Assam and Meghalaya, will be the new additional secretary and Development Commissioner in the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

7)   Who has been appointed president of USIBC on 10th Oct 2017?
- Published on 11 Oct 17

a. Nidhi Desai Biswal
b. Nisha Desai Biswal
c. Indra Nooyi
d. Mukesh Aghi
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Nisha Desai Biswal

Nisha Desai Biswal, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, has been appointed president of the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC).

USIBC is a forum of U.S. businesses under the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The USIBC has been at the centre of a recent controversy after its previous board decided to set up a new organisation called the U.S-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), breaking away from the Chamber.

Former President of the USIBC Mukesh Aghi is heading the USISPF, which has on its board PepsiCo chairman Indra Nooyi and CISCO chairman John T. Chambers, among others.

Companies with large commercial interests in India resent the iron grip of the U.S Chamber over the affairs of the USIBC, leading to the split.

8)   Who has been appointed chairman of Pepsico India w.e.f Nov 1, 2017?
- Published on 10 Oct 17

a. D. Shivakumar
b. Ahmed El Sheikh
c. Sanjeev Chaddha
d. Jon Banner
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Ahmed El Sheikh

D. Shivakumar has quit as the chairman of Pepsico India after serving for four years.

Mr. Shivakumar would be joining the Aditya Birla Group where he would be the group corporate president for strategy and business development.

Prior to joining Pepsico India, he was the managing director at Nokia India. He also had useful stints at Hindustan Unilever and Philips Consumer Electronics.

His exit from PepsiCo comes at a time when the cola industry is going through testing times on very many fronts.

At PepsiCo, Mr. Shivakumar played a key role in portfolio transformation and helped the company develop nutrition business.

He was responsible for launching winning innovations with the Quaker and Tropicana brands.

Ahmed El Sheikh, senior vice-president and general manager for PepsiCo Egypt and Jordan, will be the new CEO of PepsiCo India.

He would assume his India role on November 1.

Mr. Shivakumar will leave PepsiCo on December 31.

9)   Param Shah will succeed whom as the Director for UK operations at FICCI?
- Published on 05 Oct 17

a. Pratik Dattani
b. Rajiv Vastupal
c. Pankaj Patel
d. Harshvardhan Neotia
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Pratik Dattani

Param Shah is Director, UK operations at FICCI

The apex industry body, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) announced appointment of Param Shah as the new Director for the United Kingdom (UK) operations.

Shah will succeed Pratik Dattani whose tenure with FICCI ended recently.

Shah has more than 15 years of experience, which includes working for Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) as Deputy Secretary General.

He held responsibility of head of FICCI – Gujarat State Council before being appointed for the overseas role.

Biju Namboothiri will be the new head of FICCI Gujarat State Council.

10)   Who has replaced Arundhati Bhattacharya as the SBI chairman?
- Published on 05 Oct 17

a. Dipankar Gupta
b. Rajnish Kumar
c. B Sriram
d. Pravin Kumar Gupta
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rajnish Kumar

Rajnish Kumar was on Oct 4, 2017 appointed chairman of the largest public sector bank, the State Bank of India (SBI), replacing Arundhati Bhattacharya, who completes her one-year extended term on Friday.

Mr. Kumar, who is now the managing director of the SBI, faces the daunting task of addressing the issue of huge non-performing assets (NPA) of the bank.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved Mr. Kumar’s appointment for three years from the date of taking charge on or after October 7, said an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

Mr. Kumar, aged 59, joined the SBI board on May 26, 2015.

Prior to this appointment, he was Managing Director — Compliance and Risk, and Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of SBI Capital Markets Limited, the merchant banking arm of the SBI, according to his official biodata.

Mr. Kumar has also worked as Chief General Manager, Project Finance and Leasing Strategic Business Unit, it said.

He has held several key assignments across various business verticals, including two overseas assignments in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Ms. Bhattacharya became the first woman chairperson of the SBI in 2013. She was given a year’s extension in October last to ensure continuity, as the SBI was then in the process of absorbing five associate banks.

State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Travancore and Bharatiya Mahila Bank merged with the SBI on April 1, 2017.

Gross NPAs of the public sector banks rose to ?6.41 lakh crore at the end of March 2017, against ?5.02 lakh crore a year ago, according to a Finance Ministry data.

The SBI and its erstwhile associates alone wrote off ?27,574 crore NPAs in 2016-17, according to an RBI data.

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