Current Affairs May 2017 - Appointments


1 - Anthony Lianzuala took over as the New Controller General of Accounts

Anthony Lianzuala

Mr. Anthony Lianzuala took over as the New Controller General of Accounts with effect from May 1. Mr Lianzuala worked at higher positions in the Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT), Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.

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 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.

News 2 - Kharge replaced Congress leader K V Thomas as new Chairman of Public Accounts Committee of Parliament


Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge became the new Chairman of the 21-member Public Accounts Committee of Parliament. He replaced Congress leader K V Thomas. The Parliamentary panel is traditionally headed by an opposition leader.

The Committee on Public Accounts is the oldest Parliamentary committee that examines the accounts showing the appropriation of sums granted by Parliament for expenditure of the government and such other accounts of autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies. The committee also examines the reports of CAG on various subjects.

News 3 - Shobana Kamineni appointed as the new CII President


The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) announced new office-bearers for the year 2017-18. Ms Shobana Kamineni, Executive Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd., has assumed office as the new President of CII. She takes over from Dr Naushad Forbes, Co-Chairman, Forbes Marshall Limited.

Mr Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises, is the new President Designate, CII. Mr Uday Kotak, Executive Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited is the new Vice President of CII.

News 4 - Soumen Ghosh appointed as MD - Financial Services of Bharti Enterprises

Soumen Ghosh

Bharti Enterprises has appointed Soumen Ghosh as the Managing Director (MD) of its financial services business which includes the insurance businesses, namely Bharti AXA Life Insurance Co. Ltd and Bharti AXA General Insurance Co. Ltd.

Prior to this, Mr Ghosh was Executive Director and Group Chief Executive Officer at Reliance Capital. He has over 28 years of experience in the Insurance sector across Asia-Pacific and West Asian region.

News 5 - Yusra Mardini appointed UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador


UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, announced the appointment of Syrian refugee and Olympic athlete Yusra Mardini as a Goodwill Ambassador.

Since her selection for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Mardini has worked closely with UNHCR, highlighting with her own inspiring performances the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team and the wider global refugee crisis.

In January 2017 she represented UNHCR at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where she was the youngest participant.

News 6 - Braj Bihari Kumar appointed as new chairman of ICSSR


Braj Bihari Kumar replaced economist S K Thorat and became new chairman of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR). Braj Bihari Kumar has been editor of quarterly journals Dialogue and Chintan Srijan. He has been appointed by HRD Ministry for a period of three years.

Braj Bihari Kumar has written, edited and co-authored 136 books and has been founding member of Astha Bharati, a NGO dedicated in promoting the “India’s unity and integrity.”

News 7 - Cabinet approved appointment of Chiefs for Coffee and Tea Boards

Tea Boards

Prabhat Kamal Bezboruah and M S Boje Gowda were appointed as chairmen of the Tea Board and the Coffee Board by Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. At present, Prabhat Kamal Bezboruah is a leading tea association industrialist. He has previously served as the chairman of Assam Tea Planters’ Association. He will serve till November 1, 2018.

Gowda is a famous coffee grower and will be in the post until December 14, 2018. Since, the tea industry is plagued with the higher cost of production, cabinet appointed heads of board.

News 8 - Venu Rajamony appointed as next ambassador of India to the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Venu Rajamony

IFS officer and senior diplomat Venu Rajamony was selected as the next Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. He has also been press secretary to President Pranab Mukherjee.

Prior to this appointment, he has served as joint secretary and head of Multilateral Institutions Division in the Finance Ministry's Department of Economic Affairs and as Consul General of India in Dubai (2007-2010).

He has been assigned with such important duty because Netherlands is one of India’s leading trade and investment partners.

News 9 - Sanjay Mitra appointed as new Defence Secretary


The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) has appointed Sanjay Mitra as the new Defence secretary for a fixed two-year tenure. Mr Mitra is currently Road Transport and Highways Secretary. The current defence secretary G Mohan Kumar completed his tenure on May 24.

Mr Mitra is a 1982 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the West Bengal cadre. He also served as a joint secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office of Manmohan Singh.

News 10 - Twitter elevated Taranjeet Singh as its Country Director for India


Twitter has promoted India business head Taranjeet Singh as its Country Director. Mr Singh will be responsible for driving audience growth, engagement and revenue of Indian operations.

Mr Singh has been business head of Twitter’s India operations since January 2015. Before joining Twitter, Singh was sales director, South Asia for BBC Advertising. Prior to BBC, he held various positions at Outlook Publishing. Twitter had recently launched a lighter version of its platform, Twitter Lite for users in India.

News 11 - Vinay Mohan Kwatra Appointed as Ambassador to France


The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) has appointed seasoned diplomat Vinay Mohan Kwatra as the next ambassador to France. Mr Kwatra is currently a joint secretary in the Prime Minister's Office. He is a 1988-batch foreign service officer and will succeed Mohan Kumar.

Mr Kwatra has had held vital positions in the UN organisations such as ILO and 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.

News 12 - Ovais Sarmad appointed as Deputy Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC

Ovais Sarmad

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Ovais Sarmad of India as Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Mr Sarmad will succeed Richard Kinley of Canada.

Mr Sarmad was serving as Chief of Staff to the Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). He joined IOM in 1990 in Geneva where he worked in several policy and management areas.

News 13 - Renu Satti appointed as Paytm Payments Bank’s new CEO

Renu Satti

Renu Satti, vice-president of business at Paytm, will take on duties as the chief executive officer of Paytm Payments Bank.

As per the guidelines of RBI, the company will be transferring its wallet business to the newly incorporated payments bank entity, Paytm Payments Bank Ltd.

At present, Paytm has close to 218 million wallet accounts and it aims to open 200 million accounts within 12 months of the launch.

Paytm offers mobile wallet and e-commerce services to over 220 million users.

News 14 - Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus selected as the new WHO Chief

Tedros Adhanom

Member States of WHO elected Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the new Director-General of WHO for five-year term replacing Dr Margaret Chan.

Prior to this appointment, WHO’s next Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia from 2012–2016 and as Minister of Health, Ethiopia from 2005–2012.

As Chair of the Global Fund and of RBM, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus secured record funding for the two organizations and created the Global Malaria Action Plan.

News 15 - Syed Ghayorul assumed charge of Chairman of National Commission for Minorities

Syed Ghayorul

Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi assumed charge of the Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities in New Delhi. Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi is a graduate in Arts and also holds Diploma in Mechanics. He served as Chairman, U.P Minority Finance Development Corporation Ltd.

Shri Rizvi has been actively participating in social service. He worked for the improvement of the basic facilities and working conditions of Beedi workers and Weaver community in Uttar Pradesh.