Person Current Affairs
Person Current Affairs Jan 1st Week 2018
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 1. Vijay Keshav Gokhale appointed as Foreign Secretary.

Senior diplomat Vijay Keshav Gokhale was today appointed foreign secretary for a two-year fixed term, succeeding S Jaishankar who completes his tenure on January 28, according to an official order. Mr Gokhale, a 1981 batch officer of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), was India`s envoy to China.

He is at present Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Mr Gokhale`s appointment to the post, said the order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training.

Mr Jaishankar was appointed foreign secretary on January 29, 2015, for two years. He was given a one-year extension in January last year.

 2. Sushma Swaraj Embarked on Tour of 3 Southeast Asian Nations.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday embarked on her first visit of the year 2018 to three South East Asian countries - Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.

"EAM @SushmaSwaraj embarks on her first visit of 2018 to Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore. #ActEastPolicy," Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

The visit is aimed at giving a further boost to bilateral relations to the South East Asian countries within the framework of India`s Act East Policy.

"On the first leg of this visit, EAM Swaraj will be in Thailand on 4-5 January. She will hold an official meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand Don Pramudwinai, who will also host a dinner in honour of EAM," the MEA said in a statement on January 2.

While in Thailand, Swaraj is expected to discuss bilateral relations, with a particular focus on political, defence and economic ties and on further enhancing India`s engagement with the ASEAN countries.

Thailand will assume the role of coordinator country for India-ASEAN relations later this year.

During the visit to Indonesia on 5-6 January, EAM Swaraj will co-chair the 5th meeting of India-Indonesia Joint Commission with her Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi, who will also host a banquet in the EAM`s honour.

The two ministers will also inaugurate the second meeting of ASEAN-India Network of Think Tanks.

As the biggest country in the ASEAN region with the largest economy, Indonesia is an important partner for India, including in trade and strategic matters. In recent times, there has been intensive engagement between the two countries bilaterally, as well as plurilateral.

The Joint Commission meeting and other engagements of EAM will enable the two countries to chart out the course of the partnership during the year 2018.

During the last leg of her trip, Swaraj will inaugurate the Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) of ASEAN countries on January 7 in Singapore.

The theme of the event is "Ancient Route, New Journey: Diaspora in the Dynamic ASEAN-India Partnership". She will have bilateral meetings with the leaders in Singapore and also interactions with the PIO delegations from ASEAN countries, who are participating in the PBD.

During her trip, the EAM will also share with her interlocutors the relevant information about the forthcoming ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit, which marks 25 years since the establishment of Dialogue Partnership between Indian and ASEAN. (ANI) 

3. Rajinder Khanna appointed as Deputy National Security Adviser.

Rajinder Khanna, a former chief of the country`s external intelligence agency RAW, was today appointed the Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA), according to an official order.

He headed the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) from December 2014 for a fixed two-year period.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the appointment of Rajinder Khanna as the Deputy NSA on re-employment and on contractual basis, according to the order issued by the personnel ministry.

Rajinder Khanna, a 1978 batch Research and Analysis Wing Service (RAS) officer, has supervised several counter-terrorism operations and is considered an expert on Pakistan and Islamic terrorism.

Mr Khanna is at present Officer on Special Duty (Neighbourhood Studies) in the National Security Council Secretariat.

Neighbourhood Studies prepares policy papers of neighbouring countries including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.

The National Security Council, headed by the Prime Minister, is the top body on all internal and external security-related matters. National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is its secretary.

It is for the first time when both the NSA the and Deputy NSA are from intelligence agency background.

COMMENTSAjit Doval, a former Indian Police Service officer, retired as chief of Intelligence Bureau, country`s internal intelligence agency, in January 2005.

The post was lying vacant since Arvind Gupta, a former Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, completed his tenure in August last year. Mr Gupta was appointed to the post in August 2014.

4. Sushma Swaraj 3 Nation Visit: Co-Chairs Meeting of India-Indonesia Joint Commission.

The Minister while addressing the joint press conference with her Indonesian counterpart said that both the countries condemn terrorism in all its forms.  Sushma Swaraj also said that Indonesia has a crucial role to play in evolution of new security architecture in Indo-Pacific...She said that India and Indonesia to enhance consultations on maritime issues to ensure freedom of navigation.

External Affairs Minister said, "We agreed to work together for a balanced and sustainable trade by providing greater market access, both in goods and services.

We also discussed the increasing demand for skill development in both our countries given that we have a large proportion of young population. I conveyed that India will continue its skill development assistance in the form of short term training program and scholarships. 

Currently India offers close to 150 training slots and scholarships. We agreed to further strengthen our cooperation in education sector. FM Retno expressed desire to further deepen cooperation in ICT and healthcare especially pharmaceutical sector. I conveyed our readiness to work with Indonesia in these areas. "

Indonesia Foreign Minister Retna Marsudi spoke of the economic dimension of Indo-Indonesia relations

5. MAS Chief Ravi Menon Named Best Central Bank Governor in Asia-Pacific.

THE managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Ravi Menon, has been named the best central bank governor in Asia-Pacific for 2018 by UK-based magazine, The Banker.

This annual award administered by The Banker, a publication under The Financial Times Group, is based on a selection process involving a survey of bankers and economists.

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat was also given this award in 2011 when he was then MAS`s managing director. Over the last three years, the award went to the central bankers of Vietnam, India and Bangladesh.

The Banker magazine said in an article pertaining to the award to Mr Menon: "The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country`s central bank, stands out for its cutting-edge regulatory approach to fintech while maintaining macroeconomic stability. These are the key reasons for selecting Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS, as the Central Bank Governor of the Year for Asia-Pacific."