In what is said to be the the biggest bureaucratic reshuffle since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, the government on Wednesday issued orders transferring more than 40 senior bureaucrats.
The changes included mostly joint-secretary level positions as well as eight secretary-level appointments.
The secretary-level appointments included Aradhana Johri in the department of disinvestment, Satyanarayan Mohanty in the department of higher education, Surjit Kumar Chaudhary in the department of chemicals, Kapil Dev Tripathi in heavy industries, Kusumjit Sidhu in the department of justice, Rajiv Takru in the National Commission for Minorities, R Vijaykumar in the department Northeast Development and VK Subhuram in the department of pharmaceuticals.
A handful of officers already serving in the central government were also moved around for a mix of reasons.
“In some cases, the transfers seem to have been made to better to utilise an officer’s skills... but there was some discomfort in a few cases,” an official familiar with the appointment process for the 40-odd bureaucrats said.
The official added that the appointments were in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assurance not to transfer civil servants because they had the trust of the previous government.
Six officers – who served in the personal staff of UPA ministers and had been waiting for a posting – have been given key assignments at the crucial joint secretary-level.
Three of them – Dilip Kumar, Gopal Krishna Dwivedi and Hitesh Kumar S Makwana – have been appointed to the Home Ministry. In the same league, Uday Singh Kumawat has been appointed to the Department of Revenue while AK Singh will move to the power ministry.
One of the key officers to be shunted out is IS Chahal, the joint secretary incharge of Union Territories at the home ministry. Chahal – who joined the ministry as former home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s officer on special duty – has been posted to the women and child development.
Two petroleum ministry officials have also been given new postings.
Interestingly, Rajiv Takru, a Gujarat cadre IAS of 1979 batch and was very powerful during the UPA regime, has again been shunted out from department of North East to insignificant post as secretary, national minority commission.
After taking over as the PM, Modi had shunted out Takru from powerful revenue department to North East. Takru never got along with Modi in Gujarat also and is known for proximity to so e Congress leaders, who had got him posted first as secretary financial services and then moved to revenue in the ministry of finance.
For the first time, more than 40 joint secretaries across the ministries and departments have been appointed by the present government, which came to power in last May.
Ahmedabad Municipal commissioner Guruprasad Mohapatra, 1986 batch IAS of Gujarat cadre, has been appointed as joint secretary commerce while Hitendrakumar Makwana, a Tamil Nadu cadre Gujarati IAS has been appointed as joint secretary in the ministry of home.