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January 2018 Persons in News

  • Om Prakash Rawat: Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat will be the new Chief Election Commissioner, CEC. He will succeed Achal Kumar Joti. Mr Rawat will assume office on 23rd January as the CEC. A 1977-batch IAS officer from the Madhya Pradesh cadre, Rawat was appointed to the Election Commission in August 2015. A Law Ministry notification said former Finance Secretary Ashok Lawasa has been appointed as the new election commissioner against the vacancy caused by the elevation of Mr Rawat. 

  • George Weah: Former International Football star George Weah was sworn in as Liberia's new President in the capital, Monrovia on 22nd January, in the country's first transition between democratically-elected leaders since 1944. Weah, took over from Nobel laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who spent 12 years at the helm, steering the West African nation away from the trauma of a civil war. 

  • Usha Ananthasubramanian: MD and CEO, Allahabad Bank, has been elected the first woman chairman of Indian Banks’ Association (IBA). Usha was elected IBA Chairman for the year 2017-18 by its Managing Committee on 25th January. 

    IBA Chairman’s position fell vacant following the superannuation of Jatinder Bir Singh, who was Chairman and Managing Director of Punjab & Sind Bank, on December 31, 2017. 

    Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, State Bank of India, was elected Deputy Chairman of IBA for the year 2017-18. 

    IBA is the banking sector’s industry body, whose objective, among others, is to promote and develop sound and progressive banking principles, practices and conventions and to contribute to the developments of creative banking in the country. 

  • Saksham Yadav: 
    Power-lifting world champion Saksham Yadav died of his injuries after road accident near Delhi on 7th January. 

  • Sunny Verghese appointed the Chairman of the Geneva-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development
    Singapore-based Indian-origin businessman Sunny Verghese has been appointed as the Chairman of the Geneva-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development. 

    Verghese, Co-Founder and the CEO of Singapore's agri-business group Olam International Limited, is the first World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Chair from the agri-sector. 

    He succeeded Paul Polman, the CEO of Unilever, on January 1 and will serve a two-year term. WBCSD is a global network of more than 200 CEOs who are responsible for combined revenue of more than 8.5 trillion US Dollars and 19 million employees. 

  • Sivan: Rocket scientist K. Sivan, currently Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, is to be the next Secretary of the Department of Space, and Chairman of the Space Commission and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), with a term of three years. Dr. Sivan will shortly take over from A.S. Kiran Kumar as the ninth head of the country’s Space establishment. Mr. Kumar ends his three-year term on January 14. 

  • Indu Malhotra: Senior Advocate Indu Malhotra will be the first woman lawyer to be directly elevated from the Bar to the Supreme Court as a judge. Her name was cleared unanimously by the Supreme Court Collegium which met on 10th January. 

    The five-member Collegium, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, also recommended elevation of Uttarakhand Chief Justice K M Joseph to the Supreme Court. 

    The elevation of Malhotra and Joseph, as and when approved by the Centre, will take the strength of judges in the Supreme Court to 27 as against the sanctioned 31. 

    Malhotra will be the seventh woman judge since Independence to make it to the Supreme Court. At present, Justice R Banumathi, appointed in August 2014, is the lone woman judge in the apex court and will retire in July 2020.

  • Vijay Keshav Gokhale: Vijay Keshav Gokhale will be the new Foreign Secretary of India. He will replace the incumbent Dr S. Jaishankar, who is completing his tenure on the 28th of this month. 

    The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Gokhale's appointment. A 1981-batch IFS officer, Mr Gokhale is currently holding the charge of Secretary Economic Relations in the External Affairs Ministry. 

  • Anwar Jalalpuri: Prominent Urdu poet Anwar Jalalpuri, who translated Bhagwad Geeta into Urdu, passed away in Lucknow on2nd January. Jalalpuri wrote 'Rahraw se Rahnuma tak', 'Urdu Shayri Mein Geetanjali' and 'Urdu Shayri mein Geeta'. He was the recipient of Uttar Pradesh's Yash Bharti award. 

  • Vijay Mallya: A Delhi court on 4th January declared liquor businessman Vijay Mallya a proclaimed offender for evading summons in a FERA violation case. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Shehrawat passed the order after noting that Mallya failed to appear before it despite repeated summonses. 

    The court said, Mallya failed to appear before it within 30 days, and no representation was made on his behalf, therefore his is declared to be a proclaimed offender. The court had in April last year issued an open-ended non-bailable warrant against the liquor baron. 

    In November 2016, the court had observed that Mallya had no inclination to return and had scant regard for the law of the land. 

  • TS Tirumurti: India's High Commissioner to Kuala Lumpur T S Tirumurti was appointed the Secretary (Economic Relations) in the External Affairs Ministry on 5th January. According to the order issued by the personnel ministry, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved his appointment to the post, in place of Vijay Keshav Gokhale, who was recently named as the Foreign Secretary. Tirumurti is a 1985-batch officers of Indian Foreign Service.
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