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Serving the Minister

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The moment Modi 2.0 government took oath, civil servants start searching for opportunities to serve the newly appointed ministers. It is well known that private secretaries of central ministers virtually run the show. Generally, the minister suggests the name of the officer but in the Modi government, the PMO suggests and recommends names. Most of the ministers are still waiting for their private secretaries but the Modi government has appointed private secretaries in some core ministries. Saket Kumar, 2009-batch Bihar cadre IAS, has been appointed as Private Secretary to Home Minister, Amit Shah. Saket Kumar, 38, will get the rank of a Union deputy secretary. Kumar did his MA in history from the University of Delhi before getting into the IAS. Another important appointment is of Kundan Kumar, 2004-batch Bihar IAS officer, as Private Secretary to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Kundan Kumar served as a District Magistrate of Bank District in Bihar and is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Excellence Award in Public Administration. MImkongla Jamir, 2002-batch Karnataka cadre IAS, has been appointed Private Secretary to Textiles Minister Smriti Irani. The appointment is on a co-terminus basis. Originally belonging to Nagaland, Ms Jamir, 44, did her post-graduation in psychology before getting into the IAS. She was Irani’s PS earlier too. Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister for the Department of Personnel and training (DoPT) has got Ashish Kumar, 2005-batch Tamil Nadu cadre IAS, as his Private Secretary He will hold the rank of a deputy secretary. Kumar, a mechanical engineer-turned-IAS, is also a cost accountant and has a masters in business law. Earlier, he was OSD to Singh in the Department of Atomic Energy. Some civil servants are approaching friends and relatives of the ministers to get the coveted post. But the final decision rests with the PMO and Modi has many filters in place.

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