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The newly appointed Air India chief Pradeep Singh Kharola is likely to assume charge of his new position this week. The formalities regarding Kharola's relieving order from his current position in the Karnataka government are being completed and it is expected to be issued in the next couple of days, a source close to the development said. The Government had named Kharola, a 1985 batch Karnataka cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, as Air India Chairman and Managing Director on Nov 28, three days after current CMD Rajiv Bansal was given a three-month extension. "Kharola is awaiting his relieving order from the Karnataka government, which is expected to come in the next couple of days.
As soon as he gets the order, he will take charge of the new position at Air India," the source told PTI. Kharola will be the third Air India CMD in a little over three months. In late August, then incumbent Ashwani Lohani, a 1980-batch Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers officer, was posted back to his parent organisation as Chairman, Railway Board. Rajiv Bansal, a Nagaland cadre IAS officer, who is also additional secretary in the Petroleum Ministry, was appointed as interim AI chief for three months, which was to end on November 23. However, the Government on Nov 24 extended his posting for another three months.