Persons in News Current Affairs - 2019

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UN appoints Indian Army veteran Abhijit Guha as head of Hodeidah mission

Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of United Nations (UN) appointed India’s Lieutenant General (Retired) Abhijit Guha as the head of UN mission in Hodeidah, Yemen. Guha, who has 39 years of national and international military experience will be succeeding Danish Lieutenant General Michael Lollesgaard, who served in these posts from 31 January to 31 July 2019.

Besides leading the UN Mission in support of Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA), Guha will also assume the chair of Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC). RCC is responsible for redeploying forces of Yemeni warring parties in accordance with their agreement.

About Abhijit Guha

He is a graduate of India’s Defence Services Staff College, the College of Combat, and National Defence College.

He has held many important commands, staff and instructional appointments within Indian Army which includes leadership of an Infantry Brigade and Infantry Division, and of Mumbai Area.

He retired from Indian Army in 2013 and since then he has served on Expert Panel on Technology and Innovation in UN Peacekeeping (2014) and High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (2015).

International Portfolios:

He has also served as a Military Observer as part of United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia during 1992-23.

From 2009-2013: He served as Deputy Military Adviser and Military Adviser within the Office of Military Affairs of United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), while also establishing Office of Peacekeeping and Strategic Partnerships (OPSP) in 2013.

He has also led a number of United Nations’ investigations and boards of inquiry in Africa and Middle East.

About UN Mission in support of Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA)

On 16 January 2019 UN Security Council unanimously adopted the resolution 2452 (2019) and decided to establish United Nations Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA), a special political mission that was authorised for an initial period of 6 months to lead and support functioning of Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), assisted by a secretariat staffed by UN personnel, to oversee governorate-wide ceasefire, mine action operation and redeployment of forces.

On 16 July 2019 UNSC extended the mandate of mission overseeing Yemen Ceasefire Accord for 6 months (until 15 January 2020) by unanimously adopting resolution 2481 (2019).

Dr Pramod Kumar Mishra appointed Principal Secretary to PM Modi

Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Dr. P.K. Mishra as Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi with effect from 11 September 2019. He was currently functioning as Additional Principal Secretary to PM Modi. His appointment as Principal Secretary will be co-terminus with the term of Prime Minister or until further orders, whichever is earlier.

About Dr Pramod Kumar Mishra

He has a Ph.D in Economics/Development Studies from University of Sussex, M.A. in Development Economics at University of Sussex as also M.A. in Economics at Delhi School of Economics (DSE) and B.A. Hons. (Economics) from G.M. College (Sambalpur University) in 1970.

He served as Additional Principal Secretary to PM Modi during 2014-19.  He is credited with introducing innovation and transformative changes in human resource management, particularly appointments to senior positions.

As Secretary Agriculture & Cooperation, he was involved in national initiatives like National Food Security Mission (NFSM) and National Agriculture Development Programme (RKVY).  He has also served as Chairman of State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) and in area of Disaster management.

His has been involved in research and academic work for more than 4 years at Institute of Development Studies (UK), negotiation and execution of Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank projects, member of Governing Board of International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and participation as expert/resource person in several international conferences.

He was also recently conferred with United Nations SASAKAWA Award 2019, the most prestigious international award in disaster management.

His publications include

  • Agricultural Risk, Insurance and Income: A Study of Impact and Design of India’s Comprehensive Crop Insurance Scheme, Avebury, Aldershot, UK (1996)
  • The Kutch Earthquake 2001: Recollection Lessons and Insights, National Institute of Disaster Management, New Delhi, India (2004)
  • Edited Development and Operation of Agricultural Insurance Schemes in Asia, Asian Productivity Organization, Tokyo, Japan (1999)