Health Secretary's tenure extended due to COVID-19

Health Secretary's tenure extended due to coronavirus; govt makes key changes in bureaucracy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the nation. (PTI Photo)

Government on Sunday extended the services of Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan by three months to ensure continuity in leading the COVID-19 fight back, while two top officials in the Prime Minister's Office were promoted as Secretaries and shifted to two crucial ministries

Twenty-three IAS officers were given new assignments in the reshuffle, with some of them being promoted. The reshuffle came as a number of Secretaries are retiring on April 30.

Sudan, a 1983-batch officer of Andhra Pradesh was to retire this month-end but the Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to extend her services, as a change could have an impact at the country's fight against the pandemic.

Rural Development Secretary Rajesh Bhushan is also moving into Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as Officer on Special Duty and is likely to succeed when Sudan retires.

Tarun Bajaj, an Additional Secretary in the PMO, has been shifted to the crucial Department of Economic Affairs as its Secretary as the incumbent Atanu Chakraborty is retiring this month-end.

Another Additional Secretary in PMO AK Sharma will be the new Secretary in the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and his job will be to ensure that the sector remains robust at a time the economy of the country has taken a hit due to the pandemic.

Aramane Giridhar, an Additional Secretary in Cabinet Secretariat, has been shifted to Ministry of Road Transport and Highways as Secretary in place of Sanjeev Ranjan, who will now look after Shipping.

Delhi Development Authority Vice Chairperson Tarun Kapoor will be the new Petroleum Secretary as the incument M M Kutty is superannuating. Ministry of Steel will also get a new Secretary in Pradip Kumar Tripathi, who is presently Special Secretary in Department of Personnel and Training, while NITI Ayog Special Secretary Rameshwar Prasad Gupta will be the new Environment Secretary.

Information and Broadcasting Secretary Ravi Mittal has been shifted to Department of Sports while Department of Higher Education Secretary Amit Khare will has been given the additional charge of the ministry handled by the former.

Kerala cadre IAS officer Anand Kumar, who is presently the Secretary of New and Renewable Energy, will be the new Culture Secretary while P K Aggarwal will move from Department of Consumer Affairs to Special Secretary (Logistics) in Department of Commerce.

Border Management Secretary Nagendra Nath Singh has been shifted to Rural Development in the same rank in place of Bhushan, who is moving into Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as Officer on Special Duty. Bhushan is likely to succeed Sudan when she retires.