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Current Affairs September 18 2018

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Government of India inaugurates the All India Pension Adalat
On 18th September 2018, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh inaugurated the ‘Pension Adalat’.

Government of India inaugurates the All India Pension AdalatKey Points:
i. Dr Jitendra Singh also presented the ‘Anubhav’ awards 2018 to 6 pensioners for their contribution to create institutional memory for the departments. The Anubhav scheme was instituted through the idea of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015.
ii. He also launched a booklet named “An era of sustained reforms for Central Government Pensioners” with simplification of rules and steps to strengthen the Grievance Portal and make it user friendly.
iii. Pension Adalat is organised by the Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare (DoP&PW).
iv. Through this scheme, on a single day all the Central Government Ministries will conduct their respective Pension Adalats and on-the-spot resolution will be offered to the grievance holder.
v. Also, a Pre-Retirement Counselling (PRC) was conducted for the Central Government employees who will be retiring in the next 6 months.
vi. 600 retiring Central Government employees took part in this PRC. The PRC Workshop was conducted to create awareness about post-retirement entitlements.

Harsh Vardhan releases draft India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP)
On 17th September 2018, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, released the draft India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) and a booklet on ‘Montreal Protocol – India’s Success Story’.

Harsh Vardhan releases draft India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP)Key Points:
i. An improved website on the Ozone Cell of the Ministry and a Management Information System (MIS) for Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) were also launched.
ii. He also released two handbooks for trainers and technicians on “Good Service Practices and installation of room air-conditioners with HCFC-22 and flammable refrigerants”.
iii. Also, “A Guide for integration of topics related to HCFC Phase out and Energy efficiency in Architectural Curriculum” was released.
iv. ICAP has been prepared by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.   The process was initiated in July 2017.
v. Some of the major points mentioned in ICAP are:

  • Reduction of cooling demand across sectors by 20% to 25 % by year 2037-38
  • Reduction of refrigerant demand by 25% to 30% by year 2037-38
  • Reduction of cooling energy requirements by 25% to 40% by year 2037-38
  • Training and certification of 100,000 servicing sector technicians by the year 2022-23

Mr Ahluwalia launches C-DAC Information Media Server (CIMS)
S.S. Ahluwalia, Minister of State for Electronics and IT has launched C-DAC Information Media Server (CIMS) for improving Good Governance.
C-DAC Information Media Server (CIMS):
i. C-DAC Information Media Server is a dedicated computer appliance with specialized application software that will offer audio and video on demand.
ii. This system is low of cost and affordable. It has been built with single board computer with powerful and energy efficient multi-core processor.
iii. It does not need any special purpose internet service provider or data connectivity. It can be easily configured and deployed at various locations.
iv. The common features are: displaying text, images for viewing, video streaming, e-brochure for viewing or downloading for offline reference.
About Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC):
♦ Director General – Dr Hemant Darbari
♦ Corporte Office – Pune

Indo-German collaboration in vocational education and training
On 18th September 2018, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) in the area of vocational education and training.
Key Points:
i. According to the MoU, students who complete specific training courses in India will receive a certificate that is recognised in India and enables its recognition in Germany.
ii. They will be able to apply for jobs in companies in India and also in Germany, very easily.
iii. German ambassador to India, Martin Ney, was present when the MoU was signed. This idea was initiated in May 2017, by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
About Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship:
♦ Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship – Dharmendra Pradhan
♦ Minister of State – Anantkumar Hegde

Seoul Metropolitan government & Delhi government ink pact to share expertise on 12 fields
On September 15, 2018, state government of Delhi and Seoul Metropolitan Government  inked a “Friendship and Cooperation Agreement”  pact on cooperation in 12 fields.
i. The MOU include the following fields:
Environment, transport, tourism, solid waste management and public health.
ii. Following are the contents of the pact:

  • Building a ‘twinning cell’ for easy communication and knowledge sharing,
  • Setting up an integrated public transport system,
  • To enhance waste management and utilize landfill gas to generate electricity,
  • To enhance public transport system to reduce pollution of the city.

UNESCO Heritage site in Delhi:
♦ Red fort, Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb.

India – Morocco Tourism Bilateral meeting held in New Delhi
On September 17, 2018, a bilateral meeting on Tourism Cooperation between India and Morocco was held in New Delhi.

India – Morocco Tourism Bilateral meeting held in New Delhii. It was held between:

  • Minister of State for Tourism (IC), Government of India, Shri. K. J. Alphons, and
  • Minister of Tourism, Air Transport, Handicraft and Social Economy, Kingdom of Morocco, Mr. Mohamed Sajid.

ii. Events of the meeting:

  • Both sides agreed on cooperation in increasing tourist arrivals between both countries,
  • MOU between the India Tourism Development Corporationand La Societe Marocaine D’Ingenierie Touristique, also known as Moroccan Agency for Tourism development (SMIT).

♦ Capital: Rabat.
♦ Currency: Moroccan dirham.

3-day First-ever global India Tourism Mart held in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi
On September 16-18, 2018, the 3-day ‘first ever’ India Tourism Mart (ITM 2018) was inaugurated by Union Minister for Railways and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal in New Delhi.

3-day First-ever global India Tourism Mart held in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhii. It was inaugurated in presence of:

  • Union Tourism Minister, Shri K J Alphons and
  • Tourism Minister of Morocco, Mr. Mohamed Sajid.

To create  an annual Global  Tourism  Mart  for  India
Key Points:
i. It was organized by Ministry of Tourism in partnership with the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) and State /UT Governments.
ii. It has been coordinated by India Convention Promotion Board (ICPB).
iii. ITM was announced to be an annual event hereafter in line with other International Tourism Marts and will be held in the month of September.
iv. It had a participation of around 225 participants North America, West Europe, East Asia, Latin America, CIS countries etc.
Tourism Ministry reached the ambitious goal of US$100 billion FTA receipts/year within years.
Other announcements:
i. Morocco has relaxed new e-visa regime which is now open to 166 countries.
ii. The FAITH and State Governments also offered a pre and post event FAM trips (Familiarization trips) for the buyer delegates from overseas.
♦ FAITH is the apex organization of all the important trade and hospitality associations of the country with all the 10 major Tourist organizations like FHRAI, HAI, IATO .
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.

2 unique projects including Local Treatment of Urban Sewage Streams for Healthy Reuse project inaugurated by S&T minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan in Delhi
On September 18, 2018, Union Science & Technology minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated projects at Sun Dial Park in New Delhi .
To re-convert waste water to clean water and contribute in cleanliness drive of Swachh Bharat
Key Points:
i. The 2 projects are:
Local Treatment of Urban Sewage Streams for Healthy Reuse (LOTUSHR) project and
2 bio toilets supported by DBT-BIRAC and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
About the projects:
Local Treatment of Urban Sewage Streams for Healthy Reuse (LOTUSHR) project
i. It is a joint initiative of Indian and Dutch scientists.
iiFunctions of the LOTUS project:

  • Produce clean water from the urban waste water
  • Reused the clean water for various purposes,
  • Recover the nutrients and energy of the waste water,

iii. Thus in this process it would convert 10 lakh litre of sewage into clean water and generate 3 tonnes of biofuel.
DBT-BIRAC and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supported bio toilets
i. It aims to meet the goals set by the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan .
ii. It has been developed by Department of Biotechnology, the Ministry of Science and Technology.

First-ever ‘dial-FIR’ scheme launched by Uttar Pradesh Police
On September 17, 2018, the UP police launched the ‘e-FIR’ or ‘dial-FIR’ scheme for the first time in the country.
To help the citizens lodge a report and FIR online
Key Points:
i. It would be made possible by the collection of photographic data of 1 lakh small and big criminals through the new 22,000 ipads.
ii. It would contain 22 types of complaints such as:

  • Getting domestic help,
  • Lost and found complaint,
  • Permission for various activities like procession, character certificate etc.

iii. A pilot project of the e-FIR has been successfully conducted in Ghaziabad region.
Other News:
i. Additionally, the UP police will train 100 fresh commandos including a fresh batch of women police force for anti-terror combat.
ii. special police operations team (SPOTs) will be further inducted for combating terror like incidents in various metro cities like- Lucknow, Meerut, Allahabd, Kanpur etc.
♦ Chief Minister: Yogi Adityanath.
♦ Governor: Shri Ram Naik.
Dams in UP:
Rajghat Dam, Rihand Dam, Matatila Dam, Parichha Dam, Ganges Barrage, Sharda Barrage.
National Parks in UP:
♦ There is 1 National park in UP and 25 Wildlife Sanctuaries in UP.
♦ Dudhwa National Park.

MOU between Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir on the Shahpur Kandi project
On September 8, 2018, the governments of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir signed an agreement for renewing work on Rs. 2793 crore Shahpurkandi dam project.
i. Punjab government would pay Rs.115 crore for land acquisition and the project would be completed by 2021.
ii. It will be irrigating 37,173 ha of land and would provide 206MW of electricity to Punjab and J&K.
iii. Jammu and Kashmir 20 per cent of the total power generated at the fixed rate of Rs. 3.50 per unit.
iv. It would provide benefits worth Rs. 850 annually and utilize the water of Ravi River as per Indus water treaty.
♦ Chief Minister: Amarinder Singh.
♦ Governor: V.P Singh Badnore.
♦ National Parks: Abohar WLS, Bir Aishvan WLS, Bir Bunerheri WLS, Bir Bhadson WLS, Bir Dosanjh WLS, Bir Gurdialpura WLS, Bir Mehaswala WLS, Bir Motibagh WLS, Harike Lake WLS, Jhajjar Bacholi WLS, Kathlaur Kushlian WLS, Takhni-Rehampur WLS, Nangal WLS.

Cyclone-30 became operational at Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC), Kolkata
On September 18, 2018, Cyclone-30, the biggest cyclotron in India for medical application became operational in at VECC, Kolkata.
i. It is under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and will be commissioned in 2019.
ii. This facility will provide for affordable radio isotopes and related radiopharmaceuticals for diagnostic and therapeutic use for cancer care.
iii. It will also have export potential for isotopes used for breast cancer diagnosis and prostate cancer treatment, respectively.
West Bengal:
♦ Airports: Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Cooch Behar Airport,  Bagdogra Airport, Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport.


Germany launches world’s first hydrogen-powered train
On 17th September 2018, Germany launched the world’s first hydrogen-powered train with costlier but eco-friendly technology.

Germany launches world's first hydrogen-powered trainKey Points:
i. The two Coradia iLint trains were built by French train-maker firm Alstom. It started operating on a 100 km (62-mile) route between Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervoerde and Buxtehude in northern Germany.
ii. The Coradia iLint trains can run for nearly 1,000 km on a single tank of hydrogen. It can carry up to 300 passengers. It runs at a speed of 140 km/h.
iii. Hydrogen will be pumped into the trains from a 40-foot high steel hydrogen gas container at Bremervoerde station.
iv. Hydrogen trains have fuel cells that produce electricity through a combination of hydrogen and oxygen, leaving steam and water as the only emissions. Excess energy is stored in ion lithium batteries.
About Alstom:
♦ CEO – Henri Poupart-Lafarge
♦ Based in – France

PM Modi & PM Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh inaugurate construction of Indo-Bangla pipeline project
On September 18, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and PM of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the construction of India-Bangladesh Friendship Product Pipeline Project.
This is in accordance to the MOU signed between the 2 countries in April during Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale’s visit to Dhaka.

PM Modi & PM Sheikh Hasina of angladesh inaugurate construction of Indo-Bangla pipeline projectAbout the pipeline:
i. The estimated project cost will be 346 crore rupees and it will be completed in 30 months time.
ii. It is a 130-kilometre pipeline that will connect Siliguri in West Bengal in India and Parbatipur in Dinajpur district of Bangladesh.
iii. The capacity of the pipeline will be 1 million metric tons per annum.
iv. Construction:
6 kilometre Indian leg of the pipeline project by: the Assam-based Numaligarh Refinery Limited and
Remaining 124 km by: Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation.
v. It will help in replacing the existing practice of sending diesel by rail covering a distance of 510 kilometers.
♦ Capital: Dhaka.
♦ Currency: Bangladeshi taka.

Bangladesh Cabinet approved deal with India for port usage of Chittagong and Mongla
On September 18, 2018, Bangladesh Cabinet approved a draft agreement with India for port usage of Chittagong and Mongla ports.
To strengthen the existing cordial bilateral ties.
Key Points:
i. This would enable New Delhi to use the ports for the movement of goods to and from northeast India. It would be according to the rules of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
ii. Nepal and Bhutan has also been approved to join the team.
iii. Aslo, under the agreement only Bangladeshi vehicles and vessels would be used to carry the goods inside Bangladesh.
iv. The Bangladeshi authorities would use tracking systems like global positioning system (GPS), e-lock and e-seal to identify the goods carrying vessels.
v. It will be effective for 5 years with a provision of automatic renewal for another five years.
♦ Capital: Kathmandu.
♦ Currency:  Nepalese Rupee.
♦ Capital: Thimpu.
♦ Currency: Bhutanese ngultrum


PayU India got nod from RBI to operate Its own NBFC subject to KYC compliance
On September 17, 2018, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approved PayU India to operate its own non-banking financial company (NBFC).

PayU India got nod from RBI to operate Its own NBFC subject to KYC complianceThe approval from the central bank is subject to “certain pending RBI compliance”.
i. It has already crossed Rs 100 crore ($16 million) mark for credit issuance
ii. The company has spent about $265 million over the past five years in India.
iii. Its payment facility called LazyPay witnessed around 10,000-11,000 transactions per day.
iv. In September 2016, the company had acquired Citrus Pay for $130 million.
PayU India:
♦ Owned by South Africa’s Naspers Ltd.
♦ MD: Jitendra Gupta.


DAC approved projects worth Rs 9,100 Crores
On September 18, 2018, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman approved  the procurement of equipment for the Defence Forces worth  Rs 9,100 crores.
i. This would include:

  • An procurement of two Regiments of Akash Missile Systemsunder ‘Buy (Indian)’ category from M/s BDL,
  • Design and Development of Individual Under Water Breathing Apparatus (IUWBA) for T 90 Tanksand
  • Design and Development of Test Equipment for Guided Weapons System of T 90 Tank.

ii. The Akash Missile is an upgraded version of Akash missiles and will have 360 degree coverage  and seeker technology.
iii. The IUWBA has been developed by DRDO Lab DEBEL.
iv. It will be used as a safety gear and emergency escape by crew of tanks.
v. The Test Equipment has been developed by DRDO under ‘Make in India’ initiative and will be used for checking the Guided Weapon System equipment checking.
Union Minister of Defence: Dr. Subhash Bhamre.
Defence Secretary: Sanjay Mitra.


Dr. Raghupati Singhania conferred with highest civilian honour of Mexico
On September 17, 2018, Dr. Raghupati Singhania was awarded the ‘Mexican order of the Aztec Eagle’ by Her Excellency Ms. Melba Pría, Ambassador of Mexico to India on the eve of 128th National Day of Mexico.
i. It is the highest honour given to non-nationals by the Government of Mexico.
ii. He is the Chairman & Managing Director, JK Tyre & Industries Ltd.
iii. He was awarded for his exemplary leadership, his noteworthy services towards humanity and his efforts to strengthen bilateral ties between India and Mexico.
♦ Capital : Mexico City.
♦ Currency: Mexican peso.

Satyarup Siddhanta, Mousumi Khatua created history by climbing Asia’s highest volcanic peak Mount Damavand
On 10th September 2018, mountaineers Satyarup Siddhanta and Mousumi Khatua created history by climbing Asia’s highest volcanic peak Mount Damavand in Iran.
Key Points:
i. Mount Damavand has an altitude of 5,609 metres. Sulphur discharge near its peak can cause irreparable damage if exposed for a longer duration.
ii. The expedition team consisted of 3 members: Satyarup Siddhanta, Mousumi Khatua Siddhanta and Bhaswati Chatterjee.
iii. They left for Iran on 6th September 2018. They scaled the summit in a very short duration to avoid health hazards due to sulphur exposure.
iv. Bhaswati Chatterjee stayed back after reaching 4,600 metres. This is Satyarup Siddhanta’s 4th volcanic summit.
v. He is in the last lap of climbing the highest volcanoes of all the continents named climbing the 7 volcanic summits.


Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma signed as ambassadors of Skill India Campaign
Actors Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma have been signed as ambassadors of Skill India Campaign to promote the Skill India Mission, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma signed as ambassadors of Skill India Campaigni. Skill India is led by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE). It aims to standardise vocational training.
ii. Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma’s upcoming movie “Sui Dhaaga – Made in India”, honours India’s entrepreneurs and skilled workforce like homegrown artisans, craftspeople and weavers.

S Jaishankar, former foreign secretary joins board of USISPF
On September 18, 2018, Former foreign secretary S Jaishankar joined  the board of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF).
i. He is currently president of Global Corporate Affairs for the Tata Group.
ii. He was the Foreign Secretary from January 2015 to January 2018.
iii. He also held prominent posts in the Indian Foreign Service such as High Commissioner to Singapore, Ambassador to China, and Ambassador to the US.
USISPF is a forum founded with the objective of promoting a strategic relationship between the US and India, and finding common ground on important issues facing businesses in both countries.
♦ Capital: Washington D.C.
♦ Currency: US Dollar.

Tajinder Mukherjee assumes charge as Chairman and Managing Director of National Insurance Company Limited (NIC)
On 14th September 2018, Tajinder Mukherjee took charge as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of National Insurance Company Limited (NIC).
Tajinder Mukherjee – CMD of NIC:
i. Previously, she was the General Manager and Chief Underwriting Officer of New India Assurance.
ii. She has more than 33 years of experience. She joined the United India Insurance Company in 1983.
About National Insurance Company Limited (NIC):
♦ Incorporated – 1906
♦ India’s oldest general insurance Company
♦ Headquarters – Kolkata


Hangzhou in China to host 2022 Asian Para Games
On 16th September 2018, Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) confirmed that Hangzhou in China will host the 4th edition of Asian Para Games in 2022.

Hangzhou in China to host 2022 Asian Para Games2022 Asian Para Games in Hangzhou, China:
i. Already, Hangzhou was confirmed as the host of 2022 Asian Games. Now, it has also been announced as the host of Asian Para Games 2022.
ii. The confirmation has been done following the visit of APC officials to Hangzhou in July 2018 when they met Zhong Wenjing, Chairman of Hangzhou Disabled Federation and other officials and also visited the sports facilities.
iii. Nearly, 5.5 % of the total population of 9.5 million people in Hangzhou city are said to have an impairment.
About Asian Paralympic Committee (APC):
♦ President – Majid Rashed
♦ CEO – Tarek Souei
♦ Location – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

German insurers Allianz sign up with IOC as Olympic sponsor for 10 years
On September 18, 2018, German insurer Allianz signed up as a global Olympic sponsor for a 4-Games period of 10 years between 2021 and 2028.
i. The insurer will become the IOC’s 14th top sponsor.
ii. It would start from 2019 and with a pilot project in four key markets: Australia, China, France and Spain.
iii. The games it will sponsor are:

  • Summer Olympics in Paris in 2024,
  • Summer Olympics in Los Angeles in 2028,
  • As well as the Winter Games in 2022in Beijing and in 2026.

iv. Approximately US$50 million (S$68.5 million) per year will be given by Allianz to International Olympic Committee.
v. Other sponsors are: Coca-Cola, Intel, Panasonic and Visa.
♦ Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland.

Lewis Hamilton wins Singapore Grand Prix (Formula One racing)
On 16th September 2018, Lewis Hamilton won the Singapore Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit, in Singapore.

Lewis Hamilton wins Singapore Grand Prix (Formula One racing)Key Points:
i. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won the 1st position. He was followed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the 2nd spot. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished in the 3rd place.
ii. With this victory, Lewis Hamilton has increased his chances of winning this year’s Formula One World Championship. Also, this is his fourth career win in Singapore.

Medved International Wrestling tournament at Minsk, Belarus
From 14th to 16th September 2018, Medved International Wrestling tournament was held in Minsk, Belarus.
Key Points:
i. Indian wrestler Sakshi Malik won a silver medal in the 62 kg category, as she lost to Hungary’s Marianna Sastin 2-6 in the final.
ii. Also, India’s Pooja Dhanda won a Bronze medal in the 57 kg category.

Kenyan marathon master Eliud Kipchoge smashes world record
On 16th September 2018, Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge created a new marathon world record by clocking 2hr 1min 39sec, in Berlin, Germany.
Eliud Kipchoge – new marathon record:
i. Eliud Kipchoge has broken Dennis Kimetto’s previous record of 2hr 2min 57sec set on the same course 4 years ago, by his new record of 2hr 1min 39sec. The total race distance was 42.195km.
ii. He has bettered the previous world record by 1min 18sec. This is the largest single improvement on the marathon world record since Derek Clayton improved the mark by 2min 23sec in 1967.
iii. The women’s race was won by Kenya’s Gladys Cherono with a timing of 2:18:11, and a course record and world leading time.
iv. Ethiopian Ruti Aga finished second in 2:18:34 and Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba finished third in 2:18:55. This is the first time, three women have broken the 2:19 mark in one race.


Ganpatrao Andalka, the former Asian Games champion wrestler, passed away in Pune
On September 18, 2018, former Asian Games champion wrestler Ganpatrao Andalka (83), passed away in Pune.
i. He participated in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and had bagged the coveted “Hind Kesari” title in 1960.
ii. He also won Gold and Silver medals in two different weight categories in the 1962 Jakarta Asian Games.
iii. He was a recipient of the Arjuna award (1964) and the Maharashtra government’s ‘Shiv Chhatrapati Award’ in 1982 for his contribution to wrestling.

Independent India’s first woman IAS officer Anna Rajam Malhotra dead
On 17th September 2018, India’s first woman IAS officer post-Independence, Anna Rajam Malhotra, passed away at her home in Andheri, Mumbai.
i. Anna Rajam Malhotra was 91 years old. She was born as Anna Rajam George in Ernakulum, Kerala, in July 1927.
ii. She joined the civil services in 1951 in the Madras cadre. She also served as chairperson of the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT).
iii. In 1989, she received the Padma Bhushan award. She had worked under 7 chief ministers of Tamil Nadu.
iv. She had also served in the personnel section of the Union Home Ministry. After retirement, she served as a director of Hotel Leela Venture Ltd.