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Modi govt sends top IAS officer in HRD ministry back to parent cadre

School Education Secretary Rina Ray is believed to have been transferred after differences over policy issues with PMO.

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New Delhi: The Modi government Tuesday transferred School Education Secretary Rina Ray, apparently following differences over policy issues with the PMO.

The order came from the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, which has repatriated Ray, a 1984-batch AGMUT cadre officer, to her parent cadre.

A highly-placed source in the HRD ministry said the order came close on the heels of a performance review of officers last month.

“After the review, it was felt that the higher education department is doing better,” the source said. “There were also some complaints by the staff against her.”

Other sources familiar with the development told ThePrint that the secretary and the PMO have had disagreements over certain policy matters. The latest one, it is believed, took place over the government’s Fit India movement.

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Fit India movement is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to inculcate the idea of fitness among citizens. The HRD ministry has asked schools and colleges to include fitness-related activities such as running and walking to promote the programme.

ThePrint reached Ray’s office and the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) for a comment, but there was no response.

Ray was appointed Secretary for the Department of School Education and Literacy in July 2018. Before that she served as special secretary in the same department under retired IAS officer Anil Swarup, who she later replaced.

Information and Broadcasting Secretary Amit Khare will replace Ray. This will be an additional charge for Khare, who will be the sixth secretary of the school education department since 2014 when the Modi government first came to power.

The department of school education has not come up with any major policy initiative or reform in recent times other than tree plantation and water conservation campaigns and the Fit India movement. The department is working on reforming the midday meal scheme, but that has been moving at a very slow pace.

The last policy reform that happened under the school education department was the merging of two school education schemes — the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan — to create a single scheme: The Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan that covers children in primary and secondary schools.

Also read: Anticipation & confusion among J&K’s IAS, IPS officers as they await AGMUT cadre merger


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  1. According to internal and informal sources at MHRD, Rina Ray was repatriated because of her extremely difficult work conduct. She was sidelining important government work to take care of vested interests. She was extremely high-handed and sometimes obnoxious in her behavior with fellow officers and staff which did not go down well with the new administration at MHRD. My two cents:) Views are personal.

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