Current Affairs February 2020 – Appointments

1 – Center appointed M Ajit Kumar as Chairman of CBIC

M Ajit Kumar

The Government of India appointed M Ajit Kumar IRS (C&CE 84) as Chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC). M Ajit Kumar is a 1984 batch IRS officer hailing from Kozhikode.

M Ajit has experience of working as Directorate of Vigilance in New Delhi; Directorate of Revenue Intelligence in Mumbai; Principal Chief Commissioner of GST Zone for Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and Principal Chief Commissioner of Customs zones in Chennai. He was honored with World Customs Organisation certificate of merit for the year 2019.

2 – Ajay Bisaria appointed as India’s next Ambassador to Canada

Ajay Bisaria

India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan, Ajay Bisaria was appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Canada. Prior to this appointment, he was serving as High Commissioner of India to Pakistan. Ajay Bisaria replaced Vikas Swarup. Recently, Pakistan urged India to recall its envoy due to rising tensions between India and Pakistan after New Delhi scrapped Article 370, a constitutional provision that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Taranjit Singh Sandhu was appointed as the next Indian ambassador to the United States. He replaced Harsh Vardhan Shringla.

3 – Gopal Baglay appointed as India’s next Ambassador to Sri Lanka

Gopal Baglay

Gopal Baglay appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. He will replace Taranjit Sandhu. Prior to this appointment, he was serving as Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Baglay has held many key positions including spokesperson of the MEA. 1992 IFS officer Baglay has served as Deputy High Commissioner of India to Pakistan and handled sensitive PAI (Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran) division in the MEA.

4 – Karen Pierce appointed as Britain’s next ambassador to U.S.

Karen Pierce

Britain appointed its current United Nations envoy Dame Karen Pierce as the next ambassador to the United States. She became the first woman to hold the position. Pierce joined Foreign Office in 1981. She has been posted to Tokyo, the Balkans and Geneva. She served as the UK’s ambassador to Afghanistan in 2015 and 2016.

Britain’s previous ambassador to US, Kim Darroch, had resigned in 2019 over his controversial comments on US President Donald Trump in leaked diplomatic cables.

5 – Rajiv Bansal appointed as CMD of Air India

Rajiv Bansal

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Rajiv Bansal as the Chairman and Managing Director of Air India for a second time. Bansal is a 1988-batch IAS officer of the Nagaland cadre and is currently the Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

Mr Bansal replaced Ashwani Lohani. Bansal was in August 2017 named as Air India’s interim CMD for three months. The government has announced 100% stake sale of the debt-ridden national carrier.

6 – Rear Admiral Puruvir Das assumed charge as the Flag Officer Commanding Gujarat Naval Area

Rear Admiral Puruvir Das

Rear Admiral Puruvir Das, Nau Sena Medal took over the reins of the Gujarat, Daman and Diu Naval Area from Rear Admiral Sanjay Roye, Vishisht Seva Medal as its fourth Flag Officer Commanding. In a career spanning 30 years, he has held numerous specialist, staff and operational appointments.

The Navy gives very high priority to the frontline state of Gujarat; due to its strategic location, vast coastline and economic importance for India. The FOGNA is responsible to the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command for all Naval operations in Gujarat, Daman and Diu Naval Area.

7 – Rear Admiral Sanjay Vatsayan took over as Eastern Fleet Commander

Sanjay Vatsayan

The command of the Eastern Fleet was handed over to Rear Admiral Sanjay Vatsayan, NM by Rear Admiral Suraj Berry, AVSM, NM, VSM. The Eastern Fleet comprising of frontline warships of the Indian Navy are deployed across the indo-pacific region to safeguard the nation’s maritime interest.

Rear Admiral Sanjay Vatsayan is a Gunnery & Missile systems specialist and has vast experience at sea and ashore. He has commanded missile vessels Vibhuti and Nashak and has also been the commissioning Commanding Officer of the indigenously constructed state-of-the-art stealth frigate Sahyadri.

8 – Atul Kumar Gupta elected as new ICAI President

Atul Kumar Gupta

Atul Kumar Gupta was elected as President of The Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAI)for the year 2020-21. Nihar Niranjan Jambusaria was elected as the Vice President of the ICAI for 2020-21. Atul Kumar has served as Chairman of SAFA Committee on Education, Training & CPD and Director of XBRL India and ICAI-Accounting Research Foundation (ARF).

Nihar has served as the Chairman of – IndAS Implementation Committee, ICAI, International tax Committee and various other important Committees/ Board of ICAI.

9 – G Narayanan to head space PSU NSIL

NSIL

Veteran space scientist G Narayanan has been named as the chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation’s newly formed commercial entity New Space India Ltd (NSIL). Prior to this appointment, he worked as deputy director (systems reliability and quality assurance) at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC). LPSC develops liquid propulsion stages for launch vehicles.

NewSpace India Limited is a Central Public Sector Enterprise of Government of India, meant to scale up industry participation in Indian space programmes and excel in providing space related products.

10 – IndusInd Bank names Sumant Kathpalia as MD & CEO

Sumant Kathpalia

IndusInd Bank has appointed Sumant Kathpalia as the MD & CEO for three years, effective March 24, 2020. Kathpalia currently heads the bank’s Consumer Banking business. He will take over from Romesh Sobti, the current MD & CEO.

Kathpalia has been with the bank since 2008. Before joining IndusInd Bank, he led the consumer banking business of ABN AMRO. He has also worked with Citibank and Bank of America.

11 – Vinay Dube appointed as GoAir new CEO

Vinay Dube

GoAir appointed Vinay Dube, the former chief executive officer (CEO) of Jet Airways, as its new CEO. His duties will be to achieve long term growth objectives of the company, to streamline operations, open new markets, keep margins intact and look after management of the airline. The budget airline did not have a CEO since the departure of Cornelis Vrieswijk in March 2019.

GoAir is an Indian low-cost airline based in Mumbai, India, owned by Wadia Group. In 2017, it was rated as the fifth largest airline in India with an 8.4% passenger market share.

12 – Sunil Gurbaxani appointed as new MD and CEO of Dhanlaxmi Bank

Dhanlaxmi Bank

Dhanlaxmi Bank appointed Sunil Gurbaxani as Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of the Bank for three years from the date of taking charge under RBI approval. Prior to this appointment, Sunil Gurbaxani was working with Axis Bank.

Gurbaxani has handled various roles such as Credit officer, Operations Head, Assistant General Manager, Assistant Vice President, Vice President, Senior Vice President and Executive Vice President in Axis Bank. Dhanlaxmi Bank Ltd is an old private sector bank headquartered in Kerela.

13 – Rajlaxmi Singh Deo was elected as President of Rowing Federation of India

Rajlaxmi Singh

Rajlaxmi Singh Deo was re-elected as the President of the Rowing Federation of India (RFI) for four years till 2024. Rajpal Singh, G Bhasker, Souvik Ghose and Sreekumara Kurup will serve as the Vice-Presidents. Krishna Kumar Singh and Chirajit Phukan were elected as the joint secretaries. Jasbir Singh, Venkateswara Rao, Ismail Baig, Jacob and Manjunatha are the executive committee members.

The Rowing Federation of India is the central body for the game of rowing in India. It is affiliated with the Indian Olympic Association and Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Aviron.

14 – USIBC appointed Vijay Advani as new Chairman of Global Board

Vijay Advani

The US-India Business Council (USIBC) appointed Vijay Advani as new Chair of its Global Board of Directors. Prior to this, he served as Executive Chairman of the Board. Lockheed Martin International Senior Vice President Tim Cahill and GE South Asia President & CEO Mahesh Palashikar were selected as two new members of the Global Board of Directors.

Advani has worked at the World Bank, advising governments on developing financial markets. The U.S.-India Business Council encourage the private sectors of both India and United States to enhance investment flows.

15 – Bhaskar Khulbe and Amarjeet Sinha appointed as Advisers to PM

Bhaskar Khulbe

Retired IAS officers Bhaskar Khulbe and Amarjeet Sinha were appointed as Advisors to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointments in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in the rank and scale of Secretary on contractual basis initially for a period of two years.

Bihar cadre’s Amarjeet Sinha retired as the Rural Development Secretary in 2019. Bengal cadre’s Bhaskar Khulbe has served in the PMO.

16 – Sanjay Kothari appointed as new Central Vigilance Commissioner

Sanjay Kothari

Sanjay Kothari was appointed by a high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the new Central Vigilance Commissioner. Prior to this appointment, he was serving as the Secretary to the President. Bimal Julka was appointed as the Chief Information Commissioner in the Central Information Commission. Prior to this appointment, he was serving as an Information Commissioner.

The three-member panel appointed Suresh Patel as Vigilance Commissioner and Anita Pandove as Information Commissioner.

17 – Nritya Gopal Das elected as the President of Ram Mandir Trust

Nritya Gopal Das

Mahant Nritya Gopal Das was elected President and Champat Rai as General Secretary of the Ram Temple Trust at its first meeting held in New Delhi to oversee the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya. The trust has been mandated by the Central Government to complete the construction of Ram Temple at Ayodhya.

The trust announced to create a Committee to decide on the construction of the temple. NripendraMisra, former principal secretary of Prime Minister Modi will be the head of the temple construction committee.