Modi govt brings back retd officer as secretary

Parameswaran to join drinking water dept

Modi govt brings back retd officer as secretary
Departing from convention, the Narendra Modi government on Wednesday recalled former IAS officer Parameswaran Iyer, who had availed voluntary retirement, to steer 'Swachch Bharat Abhiyan' by appointing him as the Secretary of Drinking Water and Sanitation Ministry.

He has been appointed on "contract basis" for a period of two years from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier, an official statement said.

Officials said they do not remember any precedent of a retired official being called back. Usually, serving IAS officers are appointed as secretaries of ministries. Recently, the NDA  government had appointed Sharad Kumar as National Investigation Agency (NIA) chief on contract after his retirement.

Iyer, a 1981-batch officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, had taken voluntary retirement in 2009 and returned to World Bank as Programme Leader and Lead Water and Sanitation Specialist.

While working with Uttar Pradesh government, he had conceptualised 'Jal Surag', a water management programme. Before his latest stint, he worked with World Bank between  1998 and 2007. He returned to UP government service but availed voluntary retirement in 2009.

Iyer's appointment comes at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet scheme 'Swachch Bharat Abhiyan' is yet to gain momentum. The officer is expected to take the scheme to new heights using his expertise and international exposure on the subject.

The World Bank website said Iyer has over 20 years of experience in water supply and sanitation sector.

In other appointments, the government moved Anil Kumar Agarwal, West Bengal cadre IAS officer of 1981 batch, to National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST). He was Secretary in Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, which has been merged with the Ministry of External Affairs. IAS officer Shyam S Agarwal was holding additional charge of NCST.
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