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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

PK Mishra: Five things to know about India’s top bureaucrat

PK Mishra was the additional principal secretary in the first Modi government and continued in that post after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s return to power.

india Updated: Sep 12, 2019 10:35 IST
Sunetra Choudhury
Sunetra Choudhury
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PK Mishra took over as the Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, on Wednesday, September 11, 2019.
PK Mishra took over as the Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, on Wednesday, September 11, 2019. (ANI Photo )
         

Pramod Kumar Mishra was appointed principal secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. He replaces Nripendra Misra who served as Principal Secretary to Modi until August 30.

PK Mishra was the additional principal secretary in the first Modi government and continued in that post after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s return to power. In June, he was given the rank of a cabinet minister.

Here are five things to know about the top bureaucrat:

1. PK Mishra is a 1972 batch Gujarat cadre officer from Odisha who is known to be a ‘man of few words’. Colleagues who have worked with him say that he is so low key and unassuming that it is even difficult to figure out who he really likes in his team. While economy and agriculture are said to be his forte, with degrees from Delhi School of Economics and a doctorate from Sussex University, disaster management has become an expertise he has developed in his career

2. While everyone knows PK Mishra has worked closely with Prime Minister Modi, the association goes back to when he served as the principal secretary to the then Gujarat CM. When Gujarat was hit with a devastating earthquake in 2001, Mishra shone by setting up the disaster management system which became the Gujarat State Disaster Management body.

3. Mishra continued to build on his disaster management work and wrote a book in 2004 called ‘The Kutch Earthquake 2001:Recollection Lessons and Insights’. A few months ago, Mishra travelled to Japan to receive an award for his work in the area.

4. Around the same time and just before 2004 elections, Mishra sought to be transferred on deputation from the CM’s office. His first posting was as additional secretary in ministry of home affairs. From here, he was made agriculture secretary and retired in 2008 from the department.

5. That’s when he was again appointed by Modi as the head of the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission and was heading the Gujarat Institute of Disaster Management (GIDM) when he got the call in 2014 to come serve in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). The post of additional principal secretary was specially created for him and now with his appointment as principal secretary, that post has been scrapped.

First Published: Sep 12, 2019 10:33 IST