Dr Henk Bekedam -WHO representative to India
Senior World Health Organisation (WHO) public health specialist Dr. Henk Bekedam has taken charge as the new WHO representative to India. He has worked for 19 years with WHO as its representative in China and Egypt, Director of Health Sector Development in the WHO Western Pacific Region office in Manila.

Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan assumed Presidency of the Royal Society
Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan on 1 December 2015 assumed Presidency of the Royal Society in London. He was elected to the office in March 2015 by the society’s council and will serve for up to five years. With this appointment, he became the 61st president of the society.

Prakash Kumar Singh is new SAIL chairman
Prakash Kumar Singh has been appointed as the new chairman of the Steel Authority of India (SAIL). P K Singh was chosen to become the chairman of the country’s largest steelmaker in the public sector by govern-ment head-hunter Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB). The post of permanent chairman in the company has been lying vacant since incumbent CS Verma was refused an extension by the government in June.

Ahmad Javed as Indian Ambassador to saudi Arabia
Mumbai Police commissioner Ahmad Javed has been appointed Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, which has a 2.8 million-strong Indian community. He is expected to take up his assignment shortly as Javed is scheduled to retire on January 31, 2016. Ahmad Javed is the IPS officer of 1980 batch from Maharashtra Cadre. He had recently replaced Rakesh Maria as the Mumbai Police commissioner.


Karnataka Lokayukta resigns
Facing the prospect of his removal, controversial Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Y. Bhaskar Rao has resigned over an alleged extortion racket in the antigraft ombudsman’s office involving his son. Rao is on a long leave since July last after his son was arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in connection with the case.

Prakash Kumar Singh is new SAIL chairman
Prakash Kumar Singh has been appointed as the new chairman of the Steel Authority of India (SAIL). P K Singh was chosen to become the chairman of the country’s largest steel maker in the public sector by government head-hunter Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB).

Latvia’s Prime Minister resigned
Latvia’s first female Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma announced her resignation on 7 December 2015. Straujuma’s resignation came after she fired the transport minister in November 2015, sparking rumours of discontent within the centre-right Cabinet that took office in January 2014. Until a new government is chosen by the Latvia parliament, Straujuma will head the three-party coalition that includes centre-right Unity party, the Greens and Farmers party and the far-right National Alliance in a caretaker capacity.


Japanese tamil scholar Noboru Karashima passed away
Distinguished Japanese historian of South India and South Asia Noboru Karashima (82) passed away. He is credited with playing a critical role in developing Indo-Japan cultural ties. He was a tamil scholar and was president of International Association of Tamil Research (IATR) from 1989 to 2010. He was president of Japan Association for South Asian Studies from 1996 to 2000.

Chettinad Group founder MAM Ramaswamy passed away
Veteran industrialist, former parliamentarian and the founder of Chettinad Group, MAM Ramaswamy died on 2 December, 2015 in Chennai. The Chettinad Group has diverse interests in cement, granite, engineering among others. He was the first to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for having won 100 Classics in Horse racing. He was the Member of Parliament representing Karnataka in the Rajya Sabha.

Farmer’s leader and Agro-economist Sharad Joshi passed away
Renowned economist, agriculturist, prolific journalist, and noted farmers’ leader Sharad Joshi (80) passed away on 12 December 2015 in Pune, Maharashtra. Joshi was the founder of Shetakari Sanghtana (farmers’ Organisation) an NGO dedicated to the cause of farmers in Maharashtra. Shetkari Sanghatana, in its heyday, was known for the innovative methods of agitation to draw attention to the problems of the farmers. He also founded an organisation of rural women, Shetkari Mahila Aghadi (SMA), which was known for its work for women’s property rights.


Sushma Swaraj visit to Pakistan
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Pakistan on 8-9 December, 2015. She went to Islamabad to attend the ‘Heart of Asia’ 5th Ministerial Meeting on Afghanisthan held in Islamabad on 9 December. During her visit to Pakistan, she met with Pakisthan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and External Affairs Minister Sartz Aziz and held bilateral talks to improve the bilateral ties between the two nations.

Japan PM Visited India
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited India on 11-13 December, 2015 for a three day official visit. He met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and held annual summit talks with him on the ocassion of his visit both the nations agreed to major deals including the introduction of Japan’s bullet train technology in India and an agreement on nuclear partnership clearly sets the stage for elevated bilateral ties in the future. The proposed bullet train link between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, which will have access to a soft Japanese loan of 12 – 15 billion dollars at a concessional interest rate of 0.1 percent. Abe along with Narendra Modi visited varanasi and attended the Ganga aarti on the banks of river Ganga. India and Japan signed a number of agreements including one on civil nuclear energy co operation, India’s first bullet train and the transfer of defence equipment and technology.


French President to be chief guest at 2016 Republic Day Celebrations
French President Francois Hollande will be the chief guest at the 2016 Republic Day Celebrations. He would be the 5th highest dignitary from France to be chief guest of Indian Republic Day parade. In 2015 US President Barack Obama attended the Republic Day parade.

Swati Dandekar as US Director of ADB
Indian -origin Swati Dandekar has been appointed as the United States Director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). She was nominated to ADB by US President Barack Obama and was designated with rank of an ambassador. Swati was the first Indian born American citizen to win a state legislative seat in the United States.

Azim Premji ranked fourth in World’s 20 Most Generous People list
Wipro’s Chairman Azim Premji was the only Indian and stood at the fourth position in the Wealth-X’s World’s 20 most generous people list with 8 billion dollars. Wealth-X released the World’s 20 Most Generous People list. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was adjudged as the top philanthropist in the world with 27 billion dollars, Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway is at second position with 21.5 billion dollars followed by George Soros, Founder of Soros Fund Management with 8 billion dollars.

Amitabh as most followed in Twitter
Twitter released the list of most followed ones in Twitter. With 18.1 million followers, bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan remains as the most followed one. With 16.5 million followers on Twitter Sha Rukh Khan is in second place and with 16.4 million followers Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes the third position. Modi is the only non-bollywood personality who has in the top 10 list. Modi’s ‘Selfie with Daughter’ campaign on Twitter was one of the most popular hashtags on the site. Amir Khan and Salman are at 4th and 5th places respectively. At number six in the list actress Deepika Padukone followed by Priyanka Chopra and Hritik Roshan.

Nishi Vasudeva named CEO of the Year
Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) Chairman and MD Nishi Vasudeva has been chosen CEO of the Year at the 17th annual Platts Global Energy Awards, often called the Oscars of energy. While Reliance Industries has bagged the CSR Award. The CEO of the Year, Nishi was also honoured by Platts as its 2015 Top 250 Asia CEO of the Year.

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