THE stars are shining for N Baijendra Kumar, 1985 batch IAS officer of the Chhattisgarh cadre. An order dated July 21 had appointed 1988 batch IAS officer of the Himachal Pradesh cadre Ali Raza Rizvi as CEO of the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), a government-run company that comes under the union ministry of steel. Rizvi changed his mind and the job was assigned to N. Baijendra Kumar, who had been serving as additional chief secretary in the state. NMDC is considered a prized catch. Baijendra Kumar, who hails from Kerala, was allotted the Madhya Pradesh cadre after being selected to the IAS in 1985. Once the state got divided in 2001, he was allotted the Chhattisgarh cadre. Kumar was the additional chief secretary to Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh in 2014-16, apart from handling departments such as commerce and industry, and energy. Between 2001 and 2004, he was the deputy director in New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) before joining as a director in the union ministry of health. In 2006-07, he was a joint secretary in the ministry of information and broadcasting. For a brief period, he also served as the principal resident commissioner in New Delhi’s Chhattisgarh Bhavan. In undivided Madhya Pradesh, Kumar served as the SDO of Dabra (Gwalior), additional collector of Jabalpur and collector of Balaghat and Sagar. The 57-year-old officer will retire on July 31, 2020. It is to be seen how Kumar takes NMDC, which has a market cap of Rs. 42,554 crore and a share price of Rs. 134, to new heights.