New Delhi, Oct 1 (UNI) Senior journalist Arun Kumar Bhandari today assumed charge as Chief Editor and General Manager of the United News of India (UNI) national news agency including its Hindi wing Varta and Urdu service.
Mr Bhandari has been associated with UNI for almost four decades now and, during the period, he was bestowed several key responsibilities every one of which he fulfilled successfully. After securing a degree in journalism from Punjab University, Chandigarh, he was selected by UNI and posted as Trainee Sub-Editor at the agency's New Delhi head office in 1969.
On successful completion of four months' training, he was absorbed in UNI as Sub-Editor. During his tenure in New Delhi, Mr Bhandari was bestowed the responsibility of preparing all categories of news. He even prepared news bulletins for All India Radio's 'Yuvavani' programme.
In the backdrop of the Punjab political crisis in the middle of 1970, he was shifted to Chandigarh to fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of a Special Correspondent and in recognition of his outstanding performance there he was promoted out of turn.
Besides receiving some organisational awards for reportage, he was honoured by the Himachal Pradesh government for best development reporting and the Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha for parliamentary coverage.
A diploma in Journalism (print and electronic media) from the International Institute for Journalism, Budapest, added to Mr Bhandari's qualifications.
He has widely travelled in India and overseas, including the United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, Egypt, Colombia, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Pakistan, Nepal, China, Dubai, Singapore and Russia.
He was among the few journalists handpicked by the Chinese government in the wake of the Indo-China friendship year last year and harvested a rich crop of news on varied aspects including preparations for the Olympics.
During his visit to Pakistan, he contributed a series of reports pertaining to the India-Pakistan relationship for which he received the Best Reporter Award.
Among the major international events, Mr Bhandari had the distinction of covering the Non-Aligned Meet, the United Nations' 50th anniversary besides being part of the press party accompanying the Prime Minister on his US tour.
With 39 years of journalism experience, he has grown with UNI.
Those who have worked with him will vouch for the fact that he is not only an able journalist but also a person who feels deeply for those under his command.
Mr Bhandari's wife Mrs Suman Bhandari is a schoolteacher. The couple has a daughter and son.
As he assumed the responsibility of CE and GM, Mr Bhandari was congratulated by Madhya Pradesh Governor Balram Jakhar, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Congress state President Suresh Pachouri, Congress General Secretary and former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh, Bharatiya Jan Shakti Founder-President and ex-Chief Minister Uma Bharti all of whom are of the opinion that the development is a matter of pride for that state's journalism firmament.
Mr Bhandari was presented a siropa (robe of honour) on Sunday at a Bhopal gurdwara in the presence of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee head Avtar Singh Makkar and member Manjit Singh 'Calcutta' who also chairs the Sikh Mission International.
Mr Makkar and Mr Singh were in Bhopal to attend the 24th Annual Convention of the Guru Singh Sabha (Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh).
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