Govt reshuffles top bureaucrats, makes 13 secretary-level appointments
New Delhi In a major top-level bureaucratic reshuffle, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet on Wednesday appointed 13 new secretaries in Union government against posts that were vacant for the past few months, including the first secretary for the newly-formed ministry of cooperation.
Air India chairman and managing director Rajiv Bansal, a 1988-batch Nagaland cadre officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), was appointed as secretary of ministry of civil aviation, as per a personnel ministry order. Bansal will replace Pradeep Singh Kharola upon his retirement on September 30.
Bansal will be tasked with overseeing key changes in Air India, for which the government invited financial bids last week. The government is selling its entire 100% stake in Air India that has been in losses ever since its merger with domestic operator Indian Airlines in 2007.
K. Rajaraman, a 1989-batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, who was additional secretary at department of economic affairs, ministry of finance, was appointed as secretary at department of telecommunications. Rajaraman will take over the role from Anshu Prakash who is due to superannuate on September 30.
Similarly, K. Sanjay Murthy, a 1989-batch IAS officer of Himachal Pradesh cadre who served as chief executive officer and managing director at National Industrial Corridor Development Corporation Limited, will replace Amit Khare as secretary of department of higher education. Khare is due to retire at the end of the month.
Both Khare and Prakash have been instrumental in formulating several new policies that have shaped the government’s plans for their respective portfolios during their term.
Khare was one of the architects of the New Education Policy 2020 which aims to make vocational learning a part of the main curriculum and access to education easier. The policy was approved by the Union cabinet in July 2020, replacing the 1986 one.
He was earlier appointed as secretary of the ministry of information and broadcasting, a role he was only recently divested of, during the Covid-19 pandemic. He had helped streamline the government’s efforts in management of the Covid-19 pandemic and draft the new OTT and digital news media guidelines among others.
Prakash played a pivotal role in the creation of the telecom relief package which was announced last Wednesday. The government has taken several steps to offer relief to telecom companies burdened by large regulatory dues and attract foreign capital into the sector.
Devendra Kumar Singh, who was working as additional secretary and development commissioner, ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises, was appointed as secretary of ministry of cooperation headed by Union home minister Amit Shah.
Pradip Kumar Tripathi, who was serving as secretary of ministry of steel, will head the department of personnel and training, the additional charge of which was earlier vested with home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla.
Vice chairman of Delhi Development Authority Anuraj Jain will be secretary of department for promotion of industry and internal trade.
Sunil Barthwal will be secretary, ministry of labour & employment while
Govind Mohan will take over as secretary of ministry of culture.
Rajesh Aggarwal, who serves as additional secretary and financial adviser, ministry of petroleum & natural gas, was appointed as secretary of ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship.
Lok Ranjan and Sujata Chaturvedi, both working as additional secretaries in department of personnel and training, will be secretary of ministry of development of north eastern region and department of sports, respectively.
The government has also elevated a number of additional secretaries to the rank of special secretaries within their own departments, including, S. Kishore who was additional secretary, department of commerce, ministry of commerce and industry, V. Srinivas, presently additional secretary, department of administrative reforms and public grievances, and Manoj Joshi who is additional secretary, ministry of food processing industries.
Katikithala Srinivas, former DoPT establishment officer, will now head the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in the rank and pay of secretary.