Persons in News 2018

Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh re-elected as Regional Director of WHO’s South-East Asian Region

Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh was unanimously re-elected as World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for South-East Asia for another five-year term beginning February 2019. She was reelected by 11 member states of the Region during elections held at ongoing Regional Committee meeting of WHO South-East Asia. With this, India has retained top WHO position in South-East Asia Region.

Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh

She had served as civil servant in India as member of Indian Administrative Services for over two decades. She was the Health Secretary of Punjab.  Dr Khetrapal Singh’s ongoing first term as WHO Regional Director South-East Asia had started on 1 February 2014. It had made her first woman to have been elected to position of Regional Director. Prior to her WHO career, she had served in health sector in various senior positions during her stint in IAS and in World Bank. She also worked in WHO Director-General’s cabinet in Geneva, as Executive Director of Sustainable Development and Healthy Environments in WHO headquarters and was Deputy Regional Director WHO South-East Asia Region from 2000-2013.

WHO South East Asia Region

It was established in 1948 and was the first of its six regions. It has 11 Member States: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste. It provides leadership on health matters, articulates evidence-based policy options, provides technical support to countries and monitors health trends in the region. It also fosters collaborative efforts of WHO for improving the health of the people in the region.

Month: Categories: Persons in News 2018


Dr Arif Alvi elected as 13th President of Pakistan

Dr Arif ur Rehman Alvi (69) was elected as 13th President of Pakistan. He is close ally of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and one of founding members of ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. He will take oath of office of President on September 9, 2018.


Dr Alvi had defeated Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidate Aitzaz Ahsan and Pakistan Muslim League-N nominee Maulana Fazl ur Rehman in three-way contest to become President. Of the 430 votes cast through secret ballot in National Assembly and Senate, Dr. Alvi had received 212 votes followed by Mr. Rehman 131 and Mr. Ahsan 81. Six votes were rejected.

Dr Arif ur Rehman Alvi

He was born in Karachi in 1947 where his father settled after partition. His father Dr Habib ur Rehman Elahi Alvi was dentist to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru before partition. He had inherited profession of dentist from his father. His father was also connected with Jinnah family. Prior to his political career, Dr Alvi was dentist by profession.

Dr. Alvi had started his political career about five decades ago when he was student of de’Montmonrency College of Dentistry in Lahore. He had joined Imran Khan’s PTI as its founding member in 1996. He was Secretary-General of party from 2006 till 2013. In 2013 he was elected as Member of National Assembly from Constituency NA-250 Karachi and was re-elected in July 2018.

He also had served as President of Pakistan Dental Association. He was also Chairman of first Pakistan International Dental Conference in 1981 and also elected Chairman of 28th Asia Pacific Dental Congress. In 2006, he was elected as President of Asia Pacific Dental Federation. In 2007, he was elected as Councillor of FDI World Dental Federation, this was for first time Pakistani was elected.

Note: Dr Alvi will be third Pakistani president to have India connection prior to partition. His predecessors Mamnoon Hussain’s family came from Agra and Pervez Musharraf’s parents had migrated to Pakistan from New Delhi.

Month: Categories: Persons in News 2018