The centre on Sunday appointed 23 new secretaries including Tarun Bajaj as the new economic affairs secretary and Rajesh Verma as the corporate affairs secretary triggered by superannuation of existing secretaries in various departments.
Bajaj, a 1988 batch Haryana carde IAS officer, will take over from current economic affairs secretary in the finance ministry Atanu Chakraborty who is set to retire on 30 April. Bajaj is currently serving as an additional secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office and has earlier served as a joint secretary in the Finance Ministry.
Verma, a 1987 batch Odisha carde IAS officer, is currently serving as special secretary in Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare. He will replace current corporate affairs secretary Injeti Srinivas who is retiring on 31 May.
The reshuffle of bureaucrats also saw government appointing new officers in crucial departments directly handling matters related to covid-19 crisis. Health and family welfare secretary Preeti Sudan who is at the forefront of India’s battle against covid-19 has been given an extension of three months beyond her date of retirement on 30 April. However, to prepare a smooth succession in the crucial department, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi appointed current rural development secretary Rajesh Bhushan (Bihar-1987 carde) as the officer on special duty in the department of health and family welfare. Nagendra Nath Sinha who is currently the secretary in the department of border management will become the new rural development secretary.
In the department of food and public distribution which is going to play a crucial role as the centre supplies additional foodgrains to the poor and vulnerable, ACC appointed Sudhanshu Pandey as the secretary. Pandey, a 1987 batch Jammu and Kashmir carde IAS officer is currently serving as an additional secretary in the commerce ministry. He will replace current secretary Ravi Kant who has been transferred as the secretary in the department of ex-servicemen welfare. Leena Nandan, currently serving as special secretary in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has also been appointed as the secretary in the department of consumer affairs, replacing the incumbent Pawan Kumar Agarwal who has been transferred as the special secretary (logistics) in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Among other crucial appointments, Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi and Tarun Kapoor have been appointed as the secretaries in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas respectively.