Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pulok’s trusted man Jawed Usmani may be named India’s next commerce secretary

Jawed Usmani, a 1978 batch UP cadre IAS and one of Pulok Chatterji’s most trusted men, is likely to be named as India’s next commerce secretary. As incumbent Rahul Khullar of 1975 batch is likely to take up an assignment at Brussels in March, the government may bring in star bureaucrat Usmani who had two innings in Prime Minister’s Office, the first between 1996 and 2001, and then under Manmohan Singh between 2004 and 2007. Usmani then moved to Washington DC to join as senior adviser to India’s executive director in the World Bank. Being the senior most IAS of 1978 batch, Usmani’s appointment will also mean all his secretary-empanelled batch-mates immediately getting an elevation from the current rank of additional secretary to the position of special secretary.
A product of IIM-Ahmedabad, Usmani is also armed with a degree of MSc, social policy and planning from London School of Economics. Since November 2010, Usmani has been on sabbatical, and was based in New York. He was affiliated with Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI) under the University of Pennsylvania as a visiting scholar, doing research on climate change and India.
Both in PMO and World Bank, Usmani worked under Pulok Chatterji, current principal secretary to PM. The cabinet secretary with suggestions from PM (read principal secretary to PM) decides secretary’s placements.
DIPP secretary PK Chaudhery, a 1977 batch Haryana cadre IAS and his batch-mate and financial services secretary DK Mittal are the two other contenders for the coveted commerce secretary’s position. Chaudhery has recently been given additional charge of the textile ministry after Rita Menon’s retirement. Mittal is also a contender for another key post, DEA (department of economic affairs) secretary that may crop up soon, as 1976 batch Tamil Nadu cadre IAS R Gopalan is retiring in April 2012. A 1977 batch UP cadre IAS, GC Chaturvedi, who is now the petroleum secretary, may also be considered for the post of DEA secretary. Once Usmani is placed, another 1978 batch IAS Arvind Mayaram, who had a long innings in finance ministry, may get a secretary’s posting in one of the economic ministries.

1 comment:

  1. Commerce secretary's post is always given to a star bureaucrat. Good choice if it's true