Kovind’s new sec­re­tariat

Gfiles - - ...BY THE WAY -

T he mo­ment Ram Nath Kovind was elected the Pres­i­dent of In­dia, the Prime Min­is­ter's Of­fice, with­out los­ing time, ap­pointed the of­fi­cers in the Pres­i­dent House’s sec­re­tariat. Every­body was sur­prised as no one was given any time to lobby for the cov­eted posts. The

way these of­fi­cial were ap­pointed, it shows the fore- - sight of the PMO. It has been a long jour­ney for San­jay Kothari, a 1978-batch IAS of­fi­cer of the Haryana cadre, who has be­come Sec­re­tary to the Pres­i­dent. He be­longs to a mid­dle-class fam­ily and has seen many ups and down in life. A sim­ple, warm, rm, and af­fec­tion­ate civil ser­vant, he is hard work­ing, and has a pas­sion for de­tails. He hass sur­vived the tran­si­tion of power at Raisina Hills. He e has served as Sec­re­tary, DoPT, which is con­sid­ered d an im­por­tant post in the PMO. He di­rectly served the he Prime Min­is­ter, and his di­rect irect boss, Thakur Ji­ten­dra Singh, the Min­is­ter for DoPT. Kothari is also con­sid­ered to be close to PK Misra, ad­di­tional prin­ci­pal sec­re­tary to the Prime Min­is­ter. He was ap­pointed as the Chair­man of the Pub­lic En­ter­prises Se­lec­tion Board, and suc­ceeded for­mer Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary, AK Seth. It was a tough choice to find a suc­ces­sor for Venu Ra­ja­mony, an ef­fi­cient IFS of­fi­cer and for­mer Press Sec­re­tary to the Pres­i­dent. But the choice of Ashok Ma­lik as Press Sec­re­tary to Pres­i­dent is an ap­pro­pri­ate de­ci­sion. Ma­lik is well known in the me­dia fra­ter­nity and has worked with Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi dur­ing the 2014 par­lia­men­tary elec­tions. Ma­lik was Dis­tin­guished Fel­low at Ob­server Re­search Foun­da­tion (ORF, is a Mukesh Am­bani-con­trolled pol­icy think tank). He was the head of ORF’s Neigh­bour­hood Re­gional Stud­ies Ini­tia­tive. An­other con­fi­dent of the Prime Min­is­ter, Bharat Lal, has been ap­pointed Joint Sec­re­tary. Lal, a 1988-batch of­fi­cer of In­dian For­est Ser­vice, was serv­ing as Res­i­dent Com­mis­sioner of the Gu­jarat gov­ern­ment be­tween 2010 and 2014. Dur­ing the pe­riod, he was Modi’s points­man in Delhi. In 2014, he was a se­ri­ous con­tender for the post of Joint Sec­re­tary in the Prime Min­is­ter's Of­fice g

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