PM Narendra Modi carried out his biggest reshuffle of secretary-level officers on Tuesday, appointing fresh faces to head crucial departments of commerce, civil aviation and power.
In all, 17 secretaries were appointed. There are nearly 80 secretaries at the Centre posted across 53 ministries.
Some of them moved up the bureaucratic hierarchy. But there were over half-a-dozen secretaries who were moved out less than nine months after being ordered to head a department. Two 1981-batch IAS officers from Gujarat, Rita A Teaotia and Pradeep Kumar Pujari have been appointed as the next commerce secretary and civil aviation secretary, respectively. Their batchmate, Rajeev Nayan Choubey, has been appointed civil aviation secretary and incumbent V Somasundaran moved as women and child development secretary.
HRD minister Smriti Irani and food minister Ram Vilas Paswan have been given a new team of officers to work with. Two secretaries at the HRD ministry, school education secretary Vrinda Sarup and higher education secretary Satyanarayan Mohanty, have been moved out within months of them taking charge.
Sarup, who has spent most of her career in the education sector, has been appointed food secretary while Mohanty will take charge as secretary-general of the National Human Rights Commission. In her new team, Irani will have women and child development secretary Vinay Sheel Oberoi for higher education and Subash Chandra Khuntia for school education.
Apart from Sarup, Paswan also gets Food Corporation of India chairman CR Vishwanath as consumer affairs secretary.