Telecom secretary 'dropped' over call drops

DoT has been under fire over the contentious issue

Telecom secretary 'dropped' over call drops

Apparently for the Department of Telecom’s (DoT) failure in addressing the contentious call drops issue, Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg was on Friday shunted out to the Minorities Ministry in a reshuffle.

In the shake-up nine top IAS officers got new assignments. Garg, a 1980-batch Uttar Pradesh cadre officer, was replaced by J S Deepak of the same cadre, who is two years junior to him.

The tasks for the new Telecom Secretary has already been cut out as he will have to steer the e-auctioning of spectrum sale in June this year during which the government expects to collect over Rs five lakh crore.

The first challenge for Deepak, who was the Secretary of Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DiETY), would be dealing with call drops issue besides on net neutrality and differential pricing as the regulator Trai is to submit its report on the issue.

Deepak, who had served as a joint secretary earlier, is credited with successfully conducting the first ever e-auction of spectrum in 2010, which helped the government raise close to Rs 1.06 lakh crore and set the roadmap for future auction of natural resources. Dr Aruna Sharma, Madhya Pradesh cadre officer of 1982 batch, replaces Deepak in DiETY.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has been under fire on the call drop issue, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi pulling up the ministry in the recent times.

Karntaka cadre officer of 1982 batch S K Pattanayak has been appointed as the new Agriculture Secretary in place of Siraj Hussain of Uttar Pradesh cadre (1979), who retired on Friday.

Avinash K Srivastava, a 1982-batch officer of UP cadre who is currently Special Secretary in the Agriculture Ministry, has been promoted as secretary and given the assignment in Ministry of Food Processing Industries. He replaces Ranglal Jamuda, the Odisha cadre officer of 1981 batch who retired on Friday.

Dr Krishan Kumar Jalan of Haryana cadre of 1982 batch, presently the Central Provident Fund Commissioner, has been appointed as secretary in the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in place of Anup K Pujari, a Karnataka cadre officer of 1980 batch on his superannuation.

Dr Vinod Agrawal of Jharkhand cadre (1980), presently the secretary in National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NSCS), has been appointed as secretary in Departmentof Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities in the vacancy of Lov Verma, UP cadre officer of 1978-batch on his retirement.

In another appointment, Dr Shyam S Agarwal of Rajasthan cadre (1980) has been appointed as secretary of the Tribal Affairs Ministry in place of Arun Jha, a Bihar-cadre officer of 1980 batch, on his appointment as Secretary as National Commissionfor Scheduled Castes (NCSC). Agarwal will hold additional charge of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST).

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