Saturday, January 23, 2010

Welcome to North Block: Pranab Mukherjee gets Bengal officer Sunil Mitra as new revenue secretary, Sumit Bose for disinvestment

Sunil Mitra, a 1975 batch West Bengal cadre IAS and currently secretary in the department of disinvestment in the ministry of finance, has been appointed as the next revenue secretary in place of PV Bhide, a 1973 batch Andhra Pradesh cadre IAS who is retiring on January 31, 2010. Mr Mitra’s elevation as revenue secretary is happening at a time when finance minister Pranab Mukherjee’s team has been working hard on the Budget proposals to be presented on February 26, and India is targeting to achieve Rs 4 lakh crore only as direct tax collection. Significantly, the current revenue secretary Mr Bhide has not been very popular among senior IRS officers and the rift between the super taxmen in the North Block and revenue secretary came out quite in open in many occasions including during the adoption of the new direct tax code.
Meanwhile, another Bengali babu Sumit Bose, a 1976 batch MP cadre IAS and presently secretary, 13th Finance Commission, has been appointed as secretary in the department of disinvestment in the ministry of finance in place of Sunil Mitra.
In Picture: The camel contingent at the rehearsal for the Beating the Retreat Ceremony, near North Block in New Delhi on January 21.

Other Appointments
a) BK Sinha, a 1975 batch Bihar cadre IAS, presently director general, national institute of rural development, has been appointment as secretary in department of rural development in place of Ms Rita Sharma, a 1974 batch UP cadre IAS, who is retiring on January 31, 2010.
b) Mathew C Kunnamkal, a 1976 batch Kerala cadre IAS, presently special secretary and financial adviser in the department of chemicals and petrochemicals, has been appointed as Director General, National Institute of Rural Development in place of BK Sinha, a 1975 batch Bihar cadre IAS.

Lieutenant General VK Singh will be India’s next Army chief

Lt Gen VK Singh, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC, presently GOC-in-C, Eastern Command has been appointed the next chief of the Army staff in the rank of General with effect from March 31, 2010 in place of General Deepak Kapoor.
Lt General VK Singh was commissioned into the Rajput Regiment on June 14, 1970. He participated in the 1971 war and IPKF operations against LTTE militants in Sri Lanka. He is presently serving as the Eastern Army Commander.
Besides being an ‘Honours Graduate’ of the US Army Infantry School, Georgia, USA, Lt Gen Singh studied at the Defence Services Staff College, the Army War College and the US Army War College, Carlisle.
He is married to Mrs Bharati and they have two daughters, the elder one is married to an Army officer. The younger daughter is working in the corporate sector.

Shiv Shankar Menon to have a status of a minister of state
The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Shiv Shankar Menon, a retired IFS of 1972 batch as the National Security Adviser in place of MK Narayanan who is moving into West Bengal Raj Bhawan. The man who superseded over a dozen officers to become the country’s foreign secretary in September 2006, is back in the South Block, this time with a status of a minister of state.

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