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Indian-origin Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir nominated as US Ambassador to Malaysia

Indian-origin diplomat Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir was on 17 June 2016 nominated as the next American Ambassador to Malaysia by US President Barack Obama.
•    Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir served as the Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2011 to 2015.  
•    She served as the US Consul General in Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom from 2009 to 2011. 
•    She previously worked in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs as the Director of the Office of Maritime Southeast Asia from 2007 to 2009.
•    From 2001 to 2005, Lakhdhir was a Political Officer at the US Embassy in Beijing, China.  
•    From 1998 to 2000, Lakhdhir was Deputy Coordinator of the Taiwan Coordination Staff in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.  
•    Since joining the Foreign Service in 1991, Lakhdhir served as a Political Officer in Indonesia and as a Consular Officer in Saudi Arabia.  
•    She received a BA from Harvard College and an MS from the National War College.

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Senior IAS officer Supriya Sahu appointed as Director General of Doordarshan

Senior IAS officer Supriya Sahu was appointed as Director General of Doordarshan on 15 June 2016. She will be the full-time director general of the state-run broadcaster after two year as the post was lying vacant since July 2014.
•    The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved to appoint Sahu for the post.
•    She would replace Aparna Vaish who was acting head of Doordharsan. She was appointed after the board decided to appoint the senior-most additional director general (ADG) at Doordarshan.
•    Tripurari Sharan was the last full-time director general at Doordarshan who stepped down in July 2014.
•    She is a 1991 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer.
•    At the time of the appointment, she is working in her cadre state Tamil Nadu.
•    She was the power behind the Say no to plastics campaign to protect the eco-system of the hill station, Ooty, during her tenure as District Collector of the Nilgiris district.
•    She has also worked as Joint Secretary for Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB).

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Hathaway appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador

The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women on 15 June 2016 appointed Anne Hathaway as global Goodwill Ambassador.
The Academy Award-winning actor will advocate for the adoption and implementation of policies worldwide to bring change at both government and corporate levels.
Hathaway has previously served as an advocate for Nike Foundation. She travelled to Kenya and Ethiopia to raise awareness on child marriage.
•    Anne Hathaway is an American actress and singer.
•    She made her professional screen debut in the Fox television series Get Real.
•    She appeared in the lead role of Mia Thermopolis in the Disney comedy film The Princess Diaries.
•    In 2005, she starred alongside Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Ang Lee's drama Brokeback Mountain.
•    In 2006, she was seen as an assistant to a powerful fashion magazine editor in the movie The Devil Wears Prada.
•    In 2006, she appeared on People magazine's list of the world's 50 Most Beautiful People.
•    In 2012, she received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the film Les Misérables.
•    The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women is a United Nations entity working for the empowerment of women.
•    UN Women became operational in January 2011.
•    Former president of Chile Michelle Bachelet was the inaugural Executive Director of the entity.

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Peter Thomson of Fiji elected as President of 71st session of United Nations General Assembly


The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 13 June 2016 elected Peter Thomson, Permanent Representative of Fiji, as President of its upcoming 71st session. Thomson was elected in a rare secret ballot vote. He defeated Andreas Mavroyiannis of Cyprus by a secret-ballot vote of 94 to 90, with one abstention.The Fiji representative will replace current General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft.
Thomson will begin his tenure in September 2016 at the commencement of the 71st General Assembly session.
•    Peter Thomson is a Fijian diplomat.
•    He has served as Fiji's Permanent Representative to the United Nations since February 2010.
•    For the year 2014, he was elected President of the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS).
•    He was the architect of the name-change of the UN's Group of Asian States to the new name of the Asia-Pacific Group, effective 2011.
•    The President of Fiji conferred on Peter Thomson the award of Officer of the Order of Fiji in 2014.
•    The United Nations General Assembly is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations.
•    It is the only organ in which all member nations have equal representation.
•    Its powers are to oversee the budget of the UN, appoint the non-permanent members to the Security Council, receive reports from other parts of the UN and make recommendations in the form of General Assembly Resolutions.
•    The General Assembly meets under its president or Secretary-General in regular yearly sessions.
•    The first UNGA session was convened on 10 January 1946 in the Westminster Central Hall in London. It included representatives of 51 nations.

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Additional Solicitor General of India SatyaPal Jain was appointed as a part-time member of the 21st Law Commission of India.

Additional Solicitor General of India and former Parliamentarian SatyaPal Jain was on 10 June 2016 appointed as a part-time member of the 21st Law Commission of India.
•    The appointment will be in addition to his charge as an Additional Solicitor General of India.
•    He is a noted constitution lawyer and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader.
•    He has been the Dean of the Law Faculty of Punjab University and is a Member of the Punjab University Senate for the last 40 years.
•    The President constituted the 21st Law Commission of India on 1 September 2015 and will end on 31 August 2018.
•    Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan, retired Judge of the Supreme Court, is the Chairman of the Commission and Justice Ravi R Tripathi, retired judge of Gujarat High Court and Bimal N Patel Director, GNLU are the other nominated members of the Commission.
•    The Secretary Department of Legal Affairs & Secretary, Legislature Department of Ministry of Law & Justice of the Government of India are ex-officio members of the Commission.
•    It is an executive body established by an order of the Government of India in 1955.
•    It works for legal reforms and its members will be primarily legal experts, who are entrusted a mandate by the Union Government.
•    The Commission is established for a fixed tenure of three years and works as an advisory body to the Union Ministry of Law and Justice.
•    The First Law Commission was established in 1955 with the then Attorney-General of India MC Setalvad as its Chairman.

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V. Vaithilingam elected as Speaker of Puducherry Assembly

Former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader V Vaithilingam was on Friday unanimously elected as Speaker of the 14th Puducherry Assembly. 
•    As soon as the proceedings began, Protem Speaker V P Sivakolundhu announced that Vaithilingam has been elected unanimously as Speaker as he was the only candidate who had filed papers when the deadline ended on Friday afternoon.
•    66 year old Vaithilingam was escorted to the chair by Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, his ministerial colleagues, DMK legislator R Siva and opposition AIADMK legislature wing leader A Anbalagan.
•    All eight legislators of the opposition AINRC, including former Chief Minister N Rangasamy, were conspicuous by their absence throughout the day’s sitting of the House. 
•    After assuming office Vaithilingam announced that Protem Speaker Sivakolundhu was elected unanimously as Deputy Speaker as his was the only nomination filed for the post.
•    V. Vaithilingam is an Indian politician who is the former Chief Minister of Puducherry.
•    He held that position from 1991 to 1996 and has been Chief Minister again from 2008-2011. 
•    Vaithilingam is credited with leading a stable and efficient government in Puducherry State through a complete five-year term during his prior period in office. 
•    He is a senior legislator serving six consecutive terms.

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G Kalyanakrishnan took over as Chief Executive of Nuclear Fuel Complex

Distinguished scientist G Kalyanakrishnan took over as Chief Executive of Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC), Hyderabad.
Kalyanakrishnan succeeds N Saibaba, who has retired on completion of two years of extended period of service.
Kalyanakrishnan will also be the Chairman of the NFC Board.
• Prior to being appointed as Chief Executive of NFC, Kalyanakrishnan served as the Deputy Chief Executive.
• He has vast experience in erection and commissioning as well as operation of Heavy Water Plants.
• He has also contributed in the successful commissioning of Zirconium Complex (ZC – a Unit of NFC) at Pazhayakayal, Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu and in achieving its nameplate capacity of 250 MT in the shortest time.
• He obtained his degree in chemical engineering from the Regional Engineering College, Warangal in 1980.
• He had joined the 24th batch of 1980-1981 Training School of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai.
• The Nuclear Fuel Complex was established in 1971.
• It was established as a major industrial unit of India's Department of Atomic Energy for the supply of nuclear fuel bundles and reactor core components.
• It is a unique facility where natural and enriched uranium fuel, zirconium alloy cladding and reactor core components are manufactured under one roof.
• NFC supplies zircaloy clad uranium oxide fuel assemblies and zirconium alloy structural components for all 14 operating atomic power reactors in India.
• The Hyderabad plant has a capacity to produce 250 tons of UO2 per year and is expected to expanded to a 600 tons per year capacity.
• NFC products are supplied to the Department of Atomic Energy, the Indian Navy, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and other defence organisations.

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Major General Per Lodin was appointed as chief military observer and head of the UN Military Observer UNMOGIP

Per Lodin, Major General of Sweden, was on 8 June 2016 appointed as the Head of the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). Lodin's appointment was approved by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
•    Major General Lodin succeeds Major General Delali Johnson Sakyi of Ghana, who will complete his two-year assignment as Chief Military Observer and Head of UNMOGIP on 2 July 2016.
•    Lodin is currently the head of Strategic Material Management at Forsvarets materielverk (FMV), the Swedish Defence Ministry’s procurement and logistics arm.
•    He had earlier served as the head of the task force centre of Kosovo Force (KFOR), the multi-national peacekeeping mission led by NATO in 2006-2007.
•    He began his military career in the Swedish Army in 1978.•    According to the Security Council mandate, UNMOGIP reports on ceasefire violations along the Line of Control between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.
•    It also observes and reports developments that could lead to ceasefire violations.
•    It has personnel from 10 countries comprising 44 military members and 72 civilian staff.
•    UNMOGIP began the operations in 1949.
•    While on the other hand, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called for an expansion of the UNMOGIP and his country continues to file complaints with it about alleged Indian ceasefire violations.
•    In 2014, India asked the UNMOGIP to leave the government building it had provided the mission.

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Russia has honoured UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with Order of Friendship Award.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on 8 June 2016 signed a decree awarding the Order of Friendship to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
•    The officially published decree said that the decoration was awarded to Ban for special merits in strengthening peace, friendship, cooperation and mutual understanding between peoples.
•    Among those awarded are Prince Michael of Kent, Oscar Niemeyer, the architect of the Brazilian capital, and former President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge.

•    The order, set up in 1994, is meant to reward Russian citizens and foreign nationals for outstanding accomplishments in strengthening peace and cooperation with Russia, as well as for charity activities.
•    He took office and became the eighth secretary-general of the United Nations on 1 January 2007
•    In June 2011, he was re-elected and will continue to serve as the UN chief until 31 December 2016.
•    Before becoming Secretary-General, he was a career diplomat in South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the United Nations.
•    He entered diplomatic service the year he graduated from university, accepting his first post in New Delhi, India.
•    Ban was the foreign minister of South Korea from January 2004 to November 2006.

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Abhinav Bindra to be India's flag bearer at Rio olympic 2016

Olympic champion shooter Abhinav Bindra was on Friday chosen as the flag bearer of the Indian contingent at the Rio Games’ opening ceremony on 5 August 2016.
•    The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) confirmed that they have chosen the 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medalist as the country’s flag bearer for the quadrennial extravaganza.
•    Bindra will be making his fifth Olympic appearance this year.
•    Alongside star boxer Vijender Singh, tennis legend Leander Paes and decorated grappler Sushil Kumar, Bindra’s name was under consideration prior to the 2012 London Games too, before the IOA gave the honor to the double Olympic medalist wrestler.
•    He is till date India’s only individual gold medalist at the Olympics.
•    The usually reserved shooter achieved the feat when he clinched a historic gold in 10-metre air rifle event at the Beijing Games in 2008.
•    He is the Winner of numerous medals at top international competitions including World Championships, World Cups, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.
•    He is also one of the goodwill ambassadors of the Indian contingent for the Rio Games .

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