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Airtel announces appointment of new Independent Directors on its Board

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Telecom company Bharti Airtel on Tuesday announced the appointment of P.K. Sinha and Shyamal Mukherjee as Independent Directors on its Board of Directors.

The appointments are, however, subject to approval by shareholders at Airtel’s upcoming Annual General Meeting.

Sinha, a former IAS officer, served as the Cabinet Secretary for more than 4 years before moving to the Prime Minister’s Office. He retired from there in March 2021 after 44 years of continuous service to the nation.

He has been a Government nominee Director in numerous major public sector undertakings and is well versed with the principles of healthy corporate governance.

Mukherjee is the former Chairman and Senior Partner of PwC lndia and was at the forefront of making it a future-ready firm. He also serves as an Independent Director on the board of ITC Ltd and a member of its Audit Committee.

Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said: “Airtel takes pride in having one of the most distinguished Board of Directors that is committed to high standards of corporate governance.”

These appointments are made with a long term view to make the board future-ready, address the long term requirements of the company, and ensure smooth transition in key board positions, he added.

“On behalf of the Board, I welcome P.K. Sinha and Shyamal Mukherjee and their valuable experience will add immense value to Airtel’s growth journey.”

The appointment shall take effect from Wednesday, it said in a regulator filing.

Business

WhatsApp working on new software that uses Apple Mac Catalyst

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 Meta-owned WhatsApp is working on a new Mac app that uses the Apple Mac Catalyst development environment to make better use of system resources.

According to AppleInsider, WhatsApp currently provides a web-based Electron app for Mac users in addition to its web app via browsers.

Electron and Catalyst are software development frameworks that help developers create desktop apps.

The new app has been in a closed beta for a few months, but now anyone can download the file on macOS Big Sur or later on the WhatsApp website, according to the report.

Following installation, it will display a QR code that users can scan with their iPhone to link their accounts using the WhatsApp iOS app.

The Mac app’s three-panel interface provides access to archived chats, starred messages, phone calls, and settings.

The Catalyst app includes features not available in the Electron version, such as file drag-and-drop and a spell-checker, the report mentioned.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp has reportedly rolled out some new shortcuts for group admins to quickly and easily perform actions for a certain group participant, on iOS.

The new shortcuts simplify interactions with group members as now the platform supports large groups of up to 1,024 participants, reports WABetainfo.

The new update will help group admins quickly manage and communicate with such a large number of participants in private.

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Business

Mumbai: No jumbo block on Western Railway on Sunday

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There will be no jumbo block on Sunday, January 29 over Western Railway’s (WR) Mumbai suburban section, the WR announced today.

Major block to dismantle Gokhale bridge

Earlier last week, the Western Railway had enforced a major 4.5 hour block on the down slow lines from 12.15am to 4.45am on the intervening nights of Jan 19-20 and Jan 20-21 to carry out dismantling work of the Gokhale road overbridge at Andheri.

As a result, a number of local train services were affected.

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Business

Panvel unit of employees of Bank of Maharashtra to join a day strike

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The Panvel unit of employees of the Bank of Maharashtra joined the one-day strike on January 27. All the unions operating in the Bank of Maharashtra have called for a one-day nationwide strike on January 27, 2023, mainly on the issue of adequate recruitment in all the cadres. The bank has eliminated the part-time staff cadre.

In the case of clerks and officers, the bank has not filled vacancies caused by death, retirement, resignations, or promotions, let alone vacancies caused by business growth.

During the last 10 years, banks’ business has grown by 250% while their staff has been reduced by 20%, and thus staff is hard pressed.

According to the union, employees are required to work beyond normal hours on almost all days and report to their duties on their weekly off and holidays. Employees are not able to avail of leave to their credit even for exigencies, and thus they have lost work-life balance.

Due to acute staff shortages, employees are unable to provide efficient customer service, despite their sincere efforts. Employees are working under immense pressure and thus are undergoing physical and mental stress.

The unions have been raising this issue of recruitment individually and collectively, but management is adamant and stubborn; thus, the January 27, 2023, strike has become inevitable.

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