The Modi administration on Thursday appointed Secretaries for several key departments. Gujarat cadre IAS officer Raj Kumar was named Secretary of Defence Production while Debashish Panda was appointed as Secretary, Financial Services. Both are 1987 batch IAS officers.
Mr. Panda will take over from Rajiv Kumar. With Mr. Panda’s appointment, speculations have ended on whether Rajiv Kumar was getting an extension as he was the Finance Secretary and the Budget is yet to be passed in Parliament.
“No extension for Rajiv Kumar,” said a senior bureaucrat involved in the appointment process in the Central administration. The government has appointed Rajiv Bansal as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Air India, which is in the process of divestment by the Centre.
Mr. Bansal takes over from Ashwani Lohani, whose one-year term as CMD of Air India ended on Thursday. In fact, this is a second stint for Mr. Bansal as CMD for Air India, where he served briefly in 2017.
Rajiv Ranjan has been made Secretary of Fisheries in place of Rajni Sekhri Sibal, who is retiring this month.
Pawan Kumar Agarwal, CEO of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, has been named Secretary, Consumer Affairs.
Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Usha Sharma has been moved to the Department of Youth Affairs as Secretary.