fixed two-year term. The only other 1976 batch IAS who has not retired till now is Bihar chief secretary Alok K Sinha. It remains to be seen whether the new government would stick to seniority, or it would be willing to bend the rules and appoint someone much junior for this coveted post. Among those belonging to 1977 batch, there are a number of IAS officers, like corporate affairs secretary Naved Masood or water resources secretary Alok Rawat, who could give a competition to Behuria if the new government has any reservations against the heavy industries secretary.
Also, if Narendra Modi becomes India’s next prime minister, his confidant K Kailashnathan, a retired IAS officer three batches junior to Behuria, is tipped to become the principal secretary to PM. In that case, will the new government break all conventions and pick up someone from 1979 or even 1980 batch, to become the next cabinet secretary?
The other combo could be former principal secretary to Gujarat chief minister PK Misra as principal secretary to PM with Behuria as cabinet secretary.
A post graduate in economics, Behuria took teaching assignment in America’s Southern Methodist University between 1979 and 1982, i.e. even before he became a collector. He then became collector in Bilaspur and Solan districts of Himachal Pradesh. In 1987, Behuria joined as deputy secretary in the department of economic affairs on a Central deputation. Then, for five long years (1989 to 1994), he went to Manila to join Asian Development Bank (ADB) before returning home and began a new innings as Member (finance) in Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board.
In the year 2000, when NDA had its government at the Centre, Behuria joined the union ministry of coal as a joint secretary and remained in that position for three years. He then moved to Mauritius in 2003 to join the Commonwealth Secretariat as a senior policy adviser. During UPA-I, he was an additional secretary in the ministry of commerce where he moved up in the ladder to become a special secretary.
In September 2010, Behuria became fertilizer secretary but he was moved to National Disaster Management Authority as its secretary. In September 2012, Behuria became minority affairs secretary, and then, since April 2013, he has worked as secretary, heavy industries department.
Behuria’s wife, Parvinder Sohi Behuria, is a 1977 batch Indian Revenue Service officer with a doctorate degree in macroeconomics. Mrs Behuria who was instrumental in developing a database of IRS officers though web, is also a keen golfer too.
Behurias have two children, Supreeti and Pritish.