1982 BATCH Himachal Pradesh cadre IAS Ajay Mittal has taken charge as the information and broadcasting secretary replacing Sunil Arora who retired on April 30. Usually, information and broadcasting secretary is someone who has been working in government of India or the one already known in Delhi. So naturally, when Mittal’s name was announced after the approval of the appointments committee of the cabinet, many in the corridors wanted to know who this officer is. And here it goes:Yes, this secretary-empanelled officer did not work in Delhi on deputation and was serving in Himachal Pradesh only. Before moving to New Delhi, he was serving as additional chief secretary in Himachal Pradesh.
Secondly, Mittal will get a much longer tenure than his predecessor Arora. Mittal, 58, will retire only in February, 2018.
Thirdly, the new secretary has joined the Shastri Bhawan when the ministry was planning to conduct next rounds of radio auctions and digitization of cable sector, and also to streamline the film certification processes. The ministry is considered important as a very senior minister of the Modi government, Arun Jaitley is at its helm.
During a career spanning more than 33 years, Mittal served in various capacities including departments such as information and public relations, finance, vigilance, coordination and public grievances etc. He was also the chairman of Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board.
An economics graduate and LLB, Mittal is a post-graduate in rural development. Originally hailing from Himachal Pradesh only (Ponta town of Sirmaur district), he is proficient not just in Hindi, English and Punjabi, but in Urdu too.
According to local news reports, Mittal played a key role in unearthing the use of forged bank guarantees by an MNC to get a power project in Kinnaur district, the case which is currently being heard in the Supreme court.