Saturday, 2 July, 2022
HomeIndiaModi pointsman Bharat Lal sent to key water ministry in bureaucratic reshuffle

Modi pointsman Bharat Lal sent to key water ministry in bureaucratic reshuffle

IFS officer Vivek Kumar appointed private secretary to PM, as Sanjeev Singla heads to Israel and Indevar Pandey goes to DONER.

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New Delhi: Underscoring the importance of the newly created Jal Shakti Ministry in the new government, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) Friday appointed senior Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer and Prime Minister’s Narendra Modi’s confidante Bharat Lal as an additional secretary in the ministry.

Lal, a 1988-batch officer of Gujarat cadre, had been the Gujarat government’s resident commissioner in Delhi from 2010 to 2014, and was known to be Modi’s pointsman in the national capital.

While he was learned to be a serious contender for the post of joint secretary in the PMO in 2014, he was eventually appointed as the joint secretary to President Ram Nath Kovind in 2017.

While there were some key appointments made by the ACC Friday in the first big bureaucratic reshuffle since the new Modi government came to power, it is Lal’s appointment to the Jal Shakti ministry that is learned to have caught everyone’s eye in the bureaucratic circles.

The ACC has also appointed Vivek Kumar, a 2004-batch IFS officer, as private secretary to the PM.

Kumar has replaced Sanjeev Kumar Singla, a 1997-batch IFS officer, who has now been appointed as India’s Ambassador to Israel.

Kumar, who was earlier a director in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), was first inducted into the PMO as deputy secretary in 2014. According to reports, he holds a BTech degree in chemical engineering from IIT-Bombay and has served in diplomatic positions in Russia and Australia.

The PM has two private secretaries — the other being senior IAS officer Rajeev Topno, who is a 1996-batch officer of Gujarat cadre.

Other appointments

The Department of Personnel and Training appointed Amita Prasad, a Karnataka-cadre IAS officer of 1985 batch, as chairperson, Inland Waterways Authority of India, Ministry of Shipping. It’s a secretary-rank position.

Haryana and Odisha-cadre IAS officers Jyoti Arora and Rajesh Verma, respectively, have been appointed as additional secretary and financial advisor, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, and additional secretary, Department of Agriculture, respectively.

Arora, who hails from an IAS family, happens to be Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora’s sister-in-law.

Arun Kumar Jha, an Indian Economic Service (IES) officer, has been transferred to National Productivity Council, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, as its director general.

Meanwhile, West Bengal-cadre officer Indevar Pandey has been appointed additional secretary to the Ministry of Development of Northeastern Region (DONER).

Also read: Senior IAF officer expresses concern on Modi govt’s procedure to appoint next air chief


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  1. The author of the article needs to confirm if Mr Kumar is IFS officer (Indian Forest Service) or IFS (Indian Foreign Service)…. As I don’t think a forest service officer can be able to serve in foreign missions

  2. The most competent and dynamic people in government need to focus on Water, literally a matter of survival for Indians. Read an explanatory column in IE yesterday, about why Assam floods almost each year, two or three times in a season, with one in five years being especially bad. It requires India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China working together, making large investments to find permanent so,utions, to impound, conserve and use this precious resource. Think of the entire subcontinent as a composite unit for many of these life giving projects.

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