A 1977-batch IAS officer, Pradeep Kumar Chaudhery, was on Tuesday appointed as the new Haryana chief secretary. He succeeds 1975-batch IAS Urvashi Gulati who retired on March 31.
Chaudhery who was on a central deputation since 2008 as secretary, department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) in the Union ministry of commerce and industries, reported back to his parent cadre on Tuesday.
His appointment orders were issued in the evening. Chaudhery would have a tenure of 15 months as chief secretary.
Hindustan Times was the first to report on March 27 that Chaudhery was likely to take over from Urvashi Gulati as the new chief secretary.
Chaudhery's appointment as the chief secretary means that he has superseded two of his batch mates -- Raj Kumar and Krishna Mohan who are inter-se senior to him.
Raj Kumar who is presently posted as Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Revenue has about five months to retire while Krishna Mohan retires in September 2013, three months after PK Chaudhery superannuates.
Chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who was keen on calling back Chaudhery from Centre, had written to the Union ministry of personnel last week seeking his repatriation.
Sources close to the chief minister said that since Raj Kumar has a rather short tenure and Krishna Mohan's name figured in a CBI case, Hooda opted for Chaudhery as the next chief secretary keeping in mind his long tenure and also to steer clear of any controversy.
This is also not the first occasion when an officer has superseded his batch mates to become the chief secretary.
A similar situation was witnessed in 2006 when Hooda ignored the claims of two 1970-batch IAS officers KC Sharma and Asha Sharma by appointing their batchmate Prem Prashant who was inter-se junior to both but had 16 months of service left.
Chaudhery had earlier served under Hooda as financial commissioner and principal secretary, industries and commerce, information technology and mines and geology from 2005 to 2008.
As chief secretary, he will hold the charge of departments of general administration, personnel, training, vigilance, parliamentary affairs and administrative reforms and will be secretary, in-charge of plan coordination and financial commissioner and principal secretary.
During his recent stint with Central government, Chaudhery served as additional secretary in Union commerce ministry. He was also the chief negotiator for India-EU bilateral trade and investment agreement. The officer has also worked as director-general, anti-dumping and director-general, foreign trade besides being chairman of export inspection council. The officer also happens to be the brother-in-law of Haryana minister Randeep Singh Surjewala.