03 February 2021 ~ 0 Comments

As PM reshuffles his pack of babus, plum jobs for two ‘sidelined’ officers

In a major reshuffle, the Centre has transferred and posted 18 secretaries to different ministries and departments while several have been promoted. As is often the case, there is a story behind many of the babus involved in the reshuffle.

The Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) has finally got a new secretary in Deepak Khandekar, who was laterally shifted to North Block from Shastri Bhavan where he was Tribal Affairs Secretary. The post had been vacant for four months. Curiously, the government may soon have to find a replacement for Khandekar as well, since he is due to retire in seven months. There is also much whispering about who will replace A.B.P. Pandey, who retires as Finance Secretary in the next 45 days.

Of the 18 IAS officers involved in the reshuffle, sources say that 13 were appointed as secretaries while five were upgraded to the Special Secretary in the rank of secretary. They include Praveen Garg, S.S. Sandhu, Anjali Bhawara, J.N. Swain and Anil Kumar Jha.

A lot of the buzz has centred around two officers who have been given plum assignments despite rumours that they had been sidelined. The first is 1988 batch IAS officer Alok Kumar of the Uttar Pradesh cadre who has been shifted from his cadre state and appointed Union Power Secretary. The other is also a UP cadre officer Alok Tandon who has been named Secretary, Ministry of Mines.

Arvind Kumar Sharma, who recently took VRS to plunge into the UP legislature, has been replaced in the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) by another Gujarat cadre officer B.B. Swain.

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