Appointments

Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud: He has taken over as the King of Saudi Arabia, following the death of King Abdullah. King Salman named his half-brother Muqrin as his crown prince and heir, rapidly moving to forestall any fears of a succession crisis at a moment when Saudi Arabia was facing unprecedented turmoil on its borders.  King Salman, thought to be 79, has been part of the ruling clique of princes for decades and is likely to continue the main thrusts of Saudi strategic policy, including maintaining the alliance with the United States and working towards energy market stability.  Saudi Arabia, which holds more than a fifth of the world’s crude oil, also exerts some influence over the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims through its guardianship of Mecca and Medina, Islam’s holiest sites.

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic: A former diplomat, she has been elected as the first woman-President of Croatia.  In Croatia, ex-Yugoslav republic, the President cannot veto laws but has a say in foreign policy and defence.

Mithripala Sirisena: He has been elected as President of Sri Lanka.  He defeated President Mahinda Rajapaksa, ending a decade of rule that critics say had become increasingly authoritarian and marred by nepotism and corruption.  Sirisena will lead a potentially fractious coalition of ethnic, religious, Marxist and centre-right parties.  He has pledged to abolish the executive presidency that gave Rajapaksa unprecedented power and hold a fresh parliamentary election within 100 days.  He has also promised a crackdown on corruption, which would include investigations into big infrastructure projects such as a $1.5 billion deal with China Communications Construction Co Ltd to build a port city.

Ranil Wickremesinghe: He has been appointed as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

Lee Wan Koo: He has been nominated Prime Minister of South Korea by President Park Geun-hye, to replace Prime Minister Chung Hong-won nearly 10 months after Chung offered to resign over a ferry disaster that killed more than 300 people in April 2014.

Alexis Tsipras: He has been elected as Prime Minister of Greece. The 40-year-old is Greece’s youngest Prime Minister in 150 years and heads the first euro zone government openly opposed to the kind of severe austerity policies which the European Union and International Monetary Fund imposed on Greece as a condition of its bailout.

Habib Essid: He has been appointed as the Prime Minister of Tunisia.

Arvind Panagariya: Noted US-based economist, he has been appointed as the first Vice-chairman of NITI Aayog.

Sindhushree Khullar: Erstwhile Planning Commission Secretary, he has been appointed as CEO of the newly formed NITI Aayog.

Hari Shankar Brahma: He has been elevated as the Chief Election Commissioner of India.

Kiran Kumar: He has been appointed Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Pahlaj Nihalani: He has been appointed the Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar: He has been appointed as the Foreign Secretary of India, replacing Sujatha Singh. He was India’s Ambassador to the USA before taking over the new assignment.

Krishna Chaudhary: He has been appointed as the new Director General (DG) of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

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