File photo of PM Narendra Modi | ANI
File photo of PM Narendra Modi | ANI
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New Delhi: The Modi government Friday made key appointments to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and appointed as many as 11 non-IAS officers as joint secretaries in the third reshuffle of civil servants amid the Covid-19 lockdown

According to an order issued by the appointments committee of the Cabinet, S. Gopalakrishnan, a 1991-batch IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre, has been appointed as additional secretary to the PMO. Gopalakrishnan, an electrical engineering graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) and a postgraduate from the Indian Institute of Management Bengaluru (IIM-B), earlier served as additional secretary in the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

C. Sridhar, a Bihar-cadre IAS officer of the 2001 batch, has been appointed as joint secretary in the PMO. Sridhar currently serves as director in the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), the IAS training ground.

Meanwhile, Meera Mohanty, a 2005-batch IAS officer of the Himachal Pradesh cadre, has been appointed as director in the PMO. 

The appointments committee has also picked Arun Singhal, an IAS officer of the 1987 batch, Uttar Pradesh cadre, as chief executive officer for the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), India’s apex food standards watchdog, in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. 

Singhal is currently serving as the special secretary in the Department of Health & Family Welfare. 

Also Read: IAS edge proves a winner as chief secretaries overshadow political bosses in virus battle

Non-IAS joint secretaries appointed

The cabinet appointments committee, which is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also includes Home Minister Amit Shah, tweaked a 12 May order appointing Rajendra Kumar, an IAS officer of the 1992 batch from the Tamil Nadu cadre, as director general of the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (under the Ministry of Labour & Employment). He has now been appointed as additional secretary in the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology. 

Similarly, Subir Mallick, who is currently serving as additional financial adviser and joint secretary in the Ministry of Defence (finance section), was appointed as additional secretary and financial adviser for the Department of Agricultural Research and Education in the 12 May order. 

The government has now retained him in the Ministry of Defence (finance), and upgraded his post to the rank of additional secretary. 

In all, the reshuffle has resulted in the appointment of 16 joint secretaries — 11 of whom are from services other than the IAS.

Surendra Prasad Yadav, an Indian Forest Service (IFoS) officer of the 1996 batch from the West Bengal cadre, has been appointed joint secretary in the Department of Defence Production. 

Manish Tiwari, an officer of the Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS), 1995 batch, has been appointed as joint secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Ateesh Kumar Singh, another officer of the IRTS, has been appointed as joint secretary in the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME).

Himabindu Mudumbai, a 1999-batch officer of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IAAS), has been appointed to the Department of Revenue as joint secretary.

ThePrint has earlier reported that the Modi government has increasingly sought to empanel non-IAS officers at senior positions in the government. 

“It is a matter of great joy for us that other services, including ours is being increasingly recognised by the government,” said a railway service officer in reaction to the latest reshuffle. “All of us get selected into the government through the same exam…It was about time that the hierarchy of the IAS was broken.”

Last year, ThePrint reported that the Indian railway services has been the biggest beneficiary of the Modi government’s bid to break the stranglehold of the IAS.

Also Read: Punishment or scapegoats? Transferred IAS officers end up sharing blame for Covid management


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5 Comments Share Your Views


  1. This is high time that other services which are equally competent should also be given opportunity to help run the Govt. Similarly the monopoly of IPS should also be demolished by inducting CAPF officers into IB, CBI, R&AW,and Enforcement agencies. It will give a fresh impetus to the working of these departments.

  2. Non-IAS joint secretaries in Modi Govt’s has broken the myth of only IAS being competant to run administration. From UPSC CSE we take for example last qualified candidate selected @ 58% and how we take those candidates who could not crack @ 57.99% and can we declare them unfit? Even it will be unfare to call them Rejected? Similar is the case with other services covered under CSE. Many of such unsuccesful candidates join CAPF/other various Govt services and many join MNCs & Industries who build multi million Empires sometimes right from scratch, establish them and run efficiently and generats profits of millions for Nation. Such candidates have to be taken as an Assests to the Nation who can also do wonders once oppurtunity extended in established bureacracy. Afterall they are sons of the soil and have to give their best. Every incoming Govts at centre/State must follow this Modi formula and allot some percentage to this catagory in each service and encourage such capable officers from other fields into bureacracy. Even most of police officers at this state of age at JS level and above are in desk/office jobs and dealing with data collections or streamlining those data informations with hardly any field operational work and here such candidates can also do wonders while dealing in strategies.
    BTW Ministry of Railways GoI is sans bureaucrats and this Dept is first to Implement OGAS for RPF in letter and spirit whereas case of OGAS in CAPF under MHA is still in technical glitches with bureaucracy.

  3. The positions at senior level should be available to officers of all services. The only criteria should be competence and integrity. Similarly now since all CAPFs have been declared as OGAS by Govt, their officers should now have opportunity to serve in all Police departments including IB,CBI and State Police and only competence and integrity should be prime criteria. There should be fair system of assessment to open up posts of all services to serving officers based on performance, competence and integrity by also including UPSC in the process.

  4. A forest officer becomes a Defense production officer, a railway signalling man becomes a senior officer in MSME dept. God save this country.
    “Modi govt has increasingly sought to empanel non-IAS officers at senior positions in the government, in a bid to break their stranglehold on the bureaucracy.” This is the byline of this article. Yes, CHAOS CAN BREAK ANY STRANGLEHOLD.
    God save this country from Narendra Modi.


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