Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Monday Night Reshuffle: Sanjay Mitra is new road transport secretary; Amitabh Kant given additional charge of NITI Aayog’s CEO

THE Central government on Monday night appointed new secretaries in the ministry of road transport and highways, disinvestment and textiles, and gave additional charge of the post of CEO, NITI Aayog to DIPP secretary Amitabh Kant till further order. The moving out of Aradhana Johri from finance ministry (as disinvestment secretary) just a couple of months before the presentation of the general budget and bringing in of West Bengal chief secretary and former PMO official of Manmohan Singh era, Sanjay Mitra, as the secretary of the ministry of road transport and highways were the other two key highlights in the Monday night reshuffle. Here are the 6 key secretary-level appointments:

1. Sanjay Mitra, 1982 batch IAS and West Bengal chief secretary has been appointed as new secretary, ministry of road transport and highways in place of Vijay Chhibber, 1978 batch Manipur-Tripura cadre IAS who is retiring on December 31, 2015. Mitra was a Harvard Mason fellow from US, and was a powerful joint secretary in Manmohan Singh’s PMO. He had worked very closely with the then PM’s adviser TKA Nair and the then principal secretary to PM Pulok Chatterji. Mamata Banerjee knew Mitra well, and when she became the chief minister of West Bengal, Mitra moved to his parent cadre West Bengal, and eventually became the state's top bureaucrat.
2. 1982 batch Bihar cadre IAS Rashmi Verma has been appointed secretary in the ministry of textiles in place of Sanjay Kumar Panda who is retiring on December 31. Panda served as chief secretary of Tripura before getting appointed as textile secretary.
3. Ms Aradhana Johri, 1980 batch UP cadre IAS, now disinvestment secretary, has been appointed chairperson, National Authority for Chemical Weapons Convention.
4. Neeraj Kumar Gupta, 1982 batch UP cadre IAS, has been appointed secretary, department of disinvestment in place of Ms Aradhana Johri. Gupta had earlier served as joint secretary in the department of commerce, executive director of India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO) and secretary of the Board of Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises (BRPSE).
5. The government has given additional charge of post of CEO of NITI Aayog to DIPP secretary and 1980 batch Kerala cadre IAS Amitabh Kant as the tenure of Sindhushree Khullar ends on December 31, 2015.
6. Sanjay Kumar Srivastava, 1980 batch AGMUT cadre IAS and secretary (coordination), cabinet secretariat will continue to hold additional charge of the post of secretary (security), cabinet secretariat, the government in its order said.

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