Modi govt makes major bureaucratic reshuffle: Meet top bureaucrats taking charge of high-profile ministries

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The Narendra Modi government on Wednesday appointed IAS officers Devendra Kumar Singh and Rajiv Bansal as the secretary of the freshly-minted cooperation ministry and new aviation secretary respectively as part of a major bureaucratic reshuffle aimed at filling up several vacancies slated to crop up in the coming weeks with the retirement of top bureaucrats heading several ministries.

The reshuffle comes in less than a week after Prime Minister Modi last Saturday met secretaries of all ministries and departments to speak about required reforms in government processes.

Other key appointments in Wednesday's reshuffle include that of Jammu and Kashmir cadre officer Pradip Kumar Tripathi as DoPT secretary, K Rajaraman, secretary, Department of Telecommunications and Anurag Jain, a 1989-batch IAS officer, as DPIIT secretary.

While 1989-batch IAS officer Govind Mohan has been appointed as culture secretary, IAS officer from Himachal Pradesh cadre Sanjay Murthy of the same batch will be the new secretary, department of higher education and Sunil Barthwal, also of the 1989 batch will be the new labour secretary.

News18.com details some key bureaucrats who've been appointed as secretaries to some of the high visibility ministries of the Narendra Modi government:

Devendra Kumar Singh, Ministry of Cooperation

Devendra Kumar Singh, a Kerala cadre IAS officer of the 1989 batch, will be heading the new cooperation ministry which was created just months ago to implement the Modi govt's vision of "Sahkar se Samriddhi," and to establish a framework to boost India's cooperative movement.

Prior to this appoint, Singh was serving as the additional secretary in the Ministry of MSME. He has a wide experience in the agriculture sector, in the past he has served with the Kerala government as additional chief secretary (Agriculture) and Agriculture Production Commissioner. He had also worked as Secretary (Fisheries) and Principal Secretary (Animal Husbandry & Dairying and Zoo).

Singh's past tenures in the central government has been in the Ministry of Home Affairs and DONER. He was Additional Director General Foreign Trade (ADGFT), Directorate General of Foreign Trade, New Delhi (2011-2016). He has also served as Chairman, APEDA, where he played a key role in preparing the national agricultural export policy, formulated measures to open exports from North East Region and has been instrumental in the creation of export infrastructure and promoting organic exports

PK Tripathi, DOPT

New DoPT secretary PK Tripathi had earlier served as special secretary and establishment officer in the same ministry €" a crucial post in the ministry that looks at appointment of bureaucrats in the central government. A senior bureaucrat who has worked with him described him as extremely competent officer, who kept a low profile.

After his empanelment as secretary, the 1987-batch IAS officer of Jammu and Kashmir cadre has been serving as the secretary in the Ministry of Steel since 2020. He has also been serving as a member of the civil services board reconstituted in July.

In the past, the senior bureaucrat has served as a joint secretary in the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways, after which he was appointed the adviser in the National Disaster Management Authority in the MHA.

K Rajaraman, Department of Telecommunications

K Rajaraman, a 1989-batch IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre has been serving as an additional secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), and would take over as the secretary, Department of Telecommunications, after current secretary Anshu Prakash retires on 30 September.

In the new role, Rajaraman will face the challenge of attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the wake of the major reform package announced by the Modi government last week to de-stress telcos.

The top bureaucrat has been associated with the finance ministry since mid-2017. In the past, Rajaraman had served as additional secretary (Investments) in the Department of Economic Affairs. He was closely involved in Investment Protection Treaties negotiations, and was responsible for the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund. He also engaged with the G20 and BRICS countries to develop economic relations.

Anurag Jain, DPIIT

Anurag Jain, a 1989-batch IAS officer of the MP cadre is the new DPIIT secretary in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Jain had been serving as vice chairman of Delhi Development Authority.

Jain had earlier served as joint Secretary in the Prime Minister's Office and also in Financial Services during the first term of the Narendra Modi government. In 2016, his central deputation tenure was extended by two years while he was serving in the PMO.

The IIT Kharagpur alumnus in his past tenures had got a wide experience in the finance sector. Among other key appointments, he has served as secretary to Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and also as Bhopal collector in the past.

Rajiv Bansal, Civil Aviation Ministry

A 1988-batch IAS officer of the Nagaland cadre, Rajiv Bansal will be the new aviation secretary. He will replace Pradeep Singh Kharola when he retires this month.

Interestingly, Bansal was serving his second tenure as in the debt-ridden Air India as its chairman and managing director. He had successfully headed the national carrier for an interim period of three months in 2017.

Among other cost reduction initiatives and efforts to improve "on-time performance" of flights taken by him during his three month stint, the national carrier had also launched services to Copenhagen among others during this period.

The debt-ridden airline is undergoing the disinvestment process and had recently received financial bids. In between the tenures, he had served as an additional secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

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