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DK Jain appointed as new chief secretary of Maharashtra, supersedes two senior officers

1983 batch officer will serve in the post till he retires in January 2019

mumbai Updated: May 01, 2018 00:28 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Maharashtra,DK Jain
IAS officer Dinesh Kumar Jain (right) takes charge as the new chief secretary of Maharashtra from Sumit Mullick, who retired on Monday, at Mantralaya in Mumbai.(BHUSHAN KOYANDE/HT)

The state government on Monday appointed Dinesh Kumar Jain as the 39th chief secretary of Maharashtra. The 1983 batch Indian Administrative Service officer, who was additional chief secretary of finance department, will serve for nine months before his retirement, scheduled on January 31, 2019.

Jain took over from the outgoing CS Sumit Mullick on Monday evening at Mantralaya. Mullick, who served as chief secretary for 13 months, will become the state’s Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) in the next few days, a post that has been vacant for 11 months.

Jain was appointed by superseding two seniormost officers, Medha Gadgil and SK Shrivastava. Gadgil would have become first woman chief secretary of Maharashtra in case the government had selected her for the top administrative post in the state government. Gadgil is additional chief secretary (relief and rehabilitation) in the state revenue department, while Shrivastava is additional chief secretary, home. Gadgil will retire in August 2019, while Shrivastava is retiring this October.

After taking over, Jain said that the agriculture sector is going through a bad time and his priority would be to achieve goals set by the government for the sector. “Besides expediting the ongoing infrastructure projects, we will have to give more thrust on the people-centric administration with the help of information and technology,” Jain said. He, however, refused to speak over his appointment superseding two senior officers and said it was the decision by the political leadership.

Born on January 25, 1959 in Jaipur, Rajasthan, Jain has an M Tech in Mechanical Engineering and MBA in Overseas Projects. He served in various districts and in positions between 1984 and 1995, including additional collector in Nashik, deputy commissioner in sales tax to collector in Solapur. Barring a brief stint in 2002 and 2007-08, Jain was on central deputation from 1995 to 2015. He served in key posts in various central departments including agriculture, rural development and employment guarantee scheme. He served in the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, New Delhi, as national programme director. He had an exclusive meeting with the then US President Barack Obama, when the latter had specially invited him to the US a few years ago. Jain came back to Maharashtra in March 2015 and served in various departments since then.

The appointment of the new chief secretary precedes a major bureaucratic reshuffle, which is likely to include changes in key posts such as the chiefs of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco), and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

MMRDA chief UPS Madan is likely to replace Jain as head of the state’s finance department.

“The new appointments will be done in consultation with the new CS, and may take place in the next few days,” an official privy to the development said, on condition of anonymity.

Like Gadgil, Chitkala Zutshi and Chandra Iyengar too had missed the opportunity to become the first woman chief secretary of the state in the recent past. Gadgil’s husband Anant Gadgil is a Congress legislator and party spokesperson. Congress has criticised the government for denying the opportunity to a senior woman officer.

“It is entirely the prerogative of the chief minister as far as the appointments of the civil servants are concerned,” a senior IAS officer told Hindustan Times. “Though there are court directives and rulings over seniority, the CM has the right to supersede a few officers. If Jain is appointed, there will be superseding within the same batch, unlike the earlier few appointments, such as Arun Bongirwar’s during the Sena-BJP government in 1990s, and later Johny Joseph in 2007. Both had superseded a number of officers senior to them.”

First Published: Apr 30, 2018 14:22 IST