Signalling that another senior IAS officer Naved Masood was out of the race for the next cabinet secretary’s post, an appointment panel headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday appointed Punjab cadre Anjuly Chib Duggal as the next corporate affairs when Masood retires.
Monday evening’s order – that appoints three secretaries – will be followed by some more secretary-level changes over the next week.
Duggal’s appointment order comes into effect on 28 February, an unprecedented three months later when corporate affairs secretary Masood retires. In the interim, the 1981 batch Duggal – who is posted as special secretary in the expenditure department – will move in the same rank to the corporate affairs ministry.
Masood – along with administrative reforms secretary Alok Rawat – were amongst the two senior-most officers of the 1977 batch and were in line to be considered for the cabinet secretary’s post.
Rawat’s transfer from the water resources ministry to the department of administrative reforms was widely considered as an indication that he might not be a serious contender. There is speculation that Cabinet Secretary Ajit Kumar Seth would be able to get his third extension before his extended term ends next month.
Uttar Pradesh cadre Rajive Kumar – who had served at the Cabinet Secretariat for over six years of the UPA government – has been appointed shipping secretary when Vishwapati Trivedi retires later this month-end. He will move from the petroleum ministry which he had joined in 2013.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has also appointed Maharashtra cadre Sunil Soni has the Overseas Affairs department Secretary from 31 December when incumbent Prem Narain retires.