New Delhi: In a major top-level bureaucratic shakeup, Shaktikanta Das was today named new Economic Affairs Secretary and would be replaced by Gujarat cadre IAS officer Hasmukh Adhia in Department of Revenue, while former Air India chief Sunil Arora will become Information & Broadcasting Secretary.
As many as 16 appointments were approved today by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and include 15 new Secretaries and one for the position of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) Chairman, a coveted post that has gone to Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer of 1982 batch Raghav Chandra.
As per the order issued late tonight by the Department of Personnel and Training, Air India's current Chairman and Managing Director Rohit Nandan will replace Arora as Secretary in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi has been appointed as new Tourism Secretary.
Mr Das, 1980 batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, would replace Rajiv Mehrishi as Economic Affairs Secretary upon his superannuation on August 31. Financial Services Secretary Hasmukh Adhia, an IAS officer of Gujarat cadre, will replace Mr Das as Revenue Secretary.
Tapan Ray, another Gujarat cadre IAS officer, would become Corporate Affairs Secretary in place of Anjuly Chib Duggal, who would replace Mr Adhia in the Department of Financial Services. The changes in Finance Ministry comes months ahead of the Union Budget and also at a time when a one-time compliance window is open as part of the new black money law.
Mr Arora, currently Secretary in Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, would replace Bimal Julka as Secretary in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on his superannuation on Monday.
The appointment of Mr Arora, a 1980-batch IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre, comes at a time when the I&B ministry is in the midst of several important activities including the e-auctions of Phase III FM radio stations and Phase III and IV of Digitisation.
The Information and Broadcasting ministry has also been under fire over the two-month-old impasse at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) where students are demanding removal of Gajendra Chauhan as its chairman.
Mr Ray, currently Additional Secretary in Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeITY), will join the Corporate Affairs Ministry at a time when the government has identified ease of doing business as a key focus area and the new Companies Act is going through a number of changes to make it easier for the companies to do business in the country.
JS Deepak and Vijay Shankar Madan will be new secretaries of DeiTY and Department of Land Resources. Mr Madan is currently Director General and Mission Director in Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), while Mr Deepak is Additional Secretary in the Commerce Ministry.
Besides, Sports Secretary Ajit M Sharan has been appointed as AYUSH Secretary. Rajiv Yadav, a 1981 batch IAS officer of Assam Meghalaya cadre, will be the new Sports Secretary. He is presently Special Secretary and Financial Adviser in Chemicals and fertilizers Secretary.
Raghav Chandra has been appointed as new Chairman of National highways Authority of India (NHAI). Mr Chandra, a 1982 batch IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, is Additional Secretary in Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare.
Sanjay Kumar Srivastava, Secretary Official Language in Home Ministry, has been appointed as Secretary, Coordination and Public grievances in Cabinet Secretariat. He has been replaced by Girish Shankar, Additional Secretary in Tourism Ministry.
Pravir Kumar, Director General of Foreign trade, will be new Secretary in Inter State Council Secretariat.
Amarendra Sinha has been appointed as Secretary, National Commission of Minorities in place of Rajiv Takru, who retires next month-end. Mr Takru earlier served as the Financial Services Secretary.
In NHAI, Mr Chandra would replace RP Singh.