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By the Way

PMO overhaul

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reshuffled his office during the Covid-19 crisis. His Private Secretary Rajeev Topno, the 1996-batch IAS officer of the Gujarat cadre, has been appointed as senior advisor to World Bank Executive Director S. Aparna, a 1988-batch IAS officer of the Gujarat cadre. Now Vivek Kumar, a 2004-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, is the only Private Secretary to the Prime Minister of India. Modi has transferred his two most trusted officers—Additional Secretaries Arvind Kumar Sharma of the Gujarat cadre as Secretary, MSME, and Tarun Bajaj of the Haryana cadre as Secretary, Economic Affairs (both 1988 batchmates).

Another officer who served in the PMO as Joint Secretary, Brajendra Navnit, a 1999-batch IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre, has been sent to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India. Modi has inducted three new officers in the PMO in June. The 1991-batch IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre S. Gopalakrishnan has been appointed as Additional Secretary in the PMO. He has been moved from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, where he was serving as Additional Secretary.

Chiruvolu Sridhar, a 2001-batch IAS officer of the Bihar cadre and who was serving as Deputy Director in the IAS training academy in Mussoorie, has been appointed as Joint Secretary in the PMO. Meera Mohanty, a 2005-batch IAS officer of the Himachal Pradesh cadre, has been inducted into the PMO as Director. She has been moved from the Cabinet Secretariat. In NDA 3 regime after taking oath Modi first brought PK Sinha, former Cabinet Secretary, as his Principal Advisor. This year Modi appointed Amarjeet Sinha and Bhaskar Khulbe, both 1983-batch IAS officers, as his new advisors. Now after Topno’s transfer, the second most important civil servant in the PMO after Dr. PK Mishra is Sanjay Bhavsar, a 2009-batch IAS officer of the Gujarat cadre.

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