Health Secretary Preeti Sudan, due to retire this month-end, has been given a three-month extension on the crucial post, in a bid to maintain continuity in the government’s response against coronavirus pandemic. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved Sudan’s extension beyond the date of her superannuation on April 30, according to a Personnel Ministry order.
In a major top-level bureaucratic reshuffle effected on Sunday, Higher Education Secretary Amit Khare was given additional charge of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, while incumbent Ravi Mittal was shifted to the Department of Sports.
The government also appointed Rural Development Secretary Rajesh Bhushan as the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the Health and Family Welfare department, indicating he may take over from Sudan after she retires on completion of the extended tenure. The period as OSD will help Bhushan in understanding the work of the ministry, which has become central to the country’s fight against COVID-19.
As many as 23 senior IAS officers have been appointed as secretaries in different central government departments as part of the rejig. Nagendra Nath Sinha will be the new Secretary of the Rural Development Department in place of Bhushan. Sinha is at present Secretary, the Department of Border Management in the Home Ministry.
Tarun Bajaj and Arvind Kumar Sharma, who were working as the Additional Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), have been appointed as Economic Affairs Secretary and the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Secretary, respectively.
In a surprising change, Consumer Affairs Secretary Pawan Kumar Agarwal has been appointed as Special Secretary (Logistics), the Department of Commerce. He has been replaced by Leena Nandan, the Special Secretary in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
Food and Public Distribution Secretary Ravi Kant has been shifted out as the Secretary, Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare, and has been replaced by Sudhanshu Panday, currently Additional Secretary, the Department of Commerce.
Road Transport and Highways Secretary Sanjeev Ranjan has been shifted as the Shipping Secretary, a post which will fall vacant this month-end upon the superannuation of Gopal Krishna. Aramane Giridhar, Additional Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat will be the Secretary in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in place of Ranjan.
CBSE chairperson Anita Karwal has been appointed as the Secretary, the Department of Education, and Literacy. She is a 1988-batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre. Her colleague from the same cadre, Rameshwar Prasad Gupta has been appointed as the Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Gupta is currently Special Secretary, NITI Aayog.
Pradip Kumar Tripathi, Special Secretary and Establishment Officer in the Department of Personnel and Training will be Secretary, the Ministry of Steel. He is a-1987 batch IAS officer of Jammu and Kashmir cadre. Delhi Development Authority (DDA) Vice Chairman Tarun Kapoor has been appointed as the Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in place of M M Kutty, who retires this month-end.
Rajesh Verma, the Special Secretary in the Department of Agriculture, will be the new Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs. He is from the Odisha cadre. Anand Kumar, a 1984-batch IAS officer of Kerala cadre, will be the new Culture Secretary. He is at present Secretary in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi will be the new secretary in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in place of Kumar. Ram Mohan Mishra has been appointed as the Secretary in National Commission for Scheduled Castes. He is currently Special Secretary and Development Commissioner in the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi, Special Secretary & Financial Advisor in the Culture Ministry, will be Secretary, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals. Ajay Tirkey will be the Secretary in the Ministry of Women and Child Development and Niten Chandra has been appointed Additional Secretary, Central Agency Section, Department of Legal Affairs. Chandra is at present Secretary, Central Information Commission (CIC).
Satbir Bedi, chairperson of the National Council for Teacher Education will be Secretary, Central Information Commission.