Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mega IAS Reshuffle: Finance Secretary Mayaram shifted as tourism secretary; Anil Swarup coal secretary, Mehrishi DEA secretary

THE day the elections in Maharashtra and Haryana got over, Centre engineered yet another major bureaucratic reshuffle in less than a month, shifting out finance secretary Arvind Mayaram and water resources secretary Alok Rawat, and appointing cabinet secretariat additional secretary Anil Swarup as the new coal secretary. Only on September 23, a mega bureaucratic reshuffle took place. (Read: Reshuffle on Super Tuesday). Mayaram, who was close to former finance minister P Chidambaram and has been working quite closely with incumbent Arun Jaitley as well, has now been appointed as…
tourism secretary in place of Parvez Dewan who is retiring by the end of this month. Mayaram’s mother Indira Mayaram is a former Congress minister in Rajasthan.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan chief secretary and Mayaram's IAS batch-mate Rajiv Mehrishi has been appointed as secretary in department of economic affairs (DEA), a post currently held by Mayaram. The DEA anchors the budget-making process, thereby making it clear that Mehrishi would be the key bureaucrat managing the affairs in the run-up to the B-Day next February.
Another noticeable change has been the shifting out of Alok Rawat, a 1977 batch Sikkim cadre IAS and currently secretary, water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation, a ministry headed by Ms Uma Bharti. Rawat has now been appointed as secretary in the department of administrative reforms and public grievances.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday aired its dissatisfaction with the Centre for the latter's inability to articulate its vision for cleaning the Ganga river. The apex court said “heads must roll.” “You are unable to tell us your vision stage-wise on cleaning the holy river Ganga and your ultimate aim,” the court said. It also asked the Centre why the post of chairman of Central Pollution Control Board had been lying vacant for six months!
Meanwhile, it was announced that 1981 batch UP cadre IAS and additional secretary in cabinet secretariat Anil Swarup would be the new coal secretary on October 31, 2014 when incumbent SK Srivastava retires. Swarup will, however, move to Shastri Bhawan immediately as Officer on Special Duty in the ministry of coal in the rank and pay of secretary, according to an order dated October 15, 2014. “The competent authority has approved the creation of a post of Officer on Special Duty in the Ministry of Coal in the rank and pay of Secretary with immediate effect with the direction that the Ministry may obtain approval of the Union Cabinet ex-post facto,” the October 15 order said.
Swarup will play a key role in the next round of auction of coal blocks after the Supreme Court cancelled all but 4 allocations since 1993.
The three other major appointment orders issued on Wednesday are as follows:
a) Ashok Kumar Angurana, 1980 batch Jammu and Kashmir cadre IAS, currently Managing Director of TRIFED under the ministry tribal affairs, has been appointed as secretary in ministry of Panchayati Raj.
b) Vinod Agrawal, 1980 batch Jharkhand cadre IAS and Adviser in inter state council secretariat, has been appointed as secretary in National Commission for Schedule Castes in place of VK Subburaj.
c) Prabhu Dayal Meena, special secretary in department of land resources, has been appointed as secretary in department of ex-servicemen welfare under the ministry of defence in place of Ms Sangita Gairola who is retiring on October 31, 2014.

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