Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the cabinet minister in-charge of DoPT and is the competent authority. Thursday’s directive formalises the steps the government had already taken putting on hold the appointment of PS of several Union ministers.
Alok Singh, a 1995-batch IPS officer of the UP cadre was all set to become the PS of home minister Rajnath Singh, but his appointment was put on hold as he had served as PS to Salman Khursid, external affairs minister in the UPA government.
Similarly, the appointment of Vinita Shrivastava as PS of HRD Minister Smriti Irani was put on hold. Shrivastava was earlier the OSD to former steel minister Beni Prasad Verma.
The government had indicated its intension of not employing personal staff of UPA ministers in the same capacity in the present government when on June 10 it ordered shifting out of 42 officers, including those from the IAS and IPS, who served as either PS or OSD to UPA ministers.