NPPA chairman shifted in major bureaucratic rejig
New Delhi: In a major high-level bureaucratic reshuffle, seven new secretaries, 17 additional secretaries and three top officers have been appointed. According to the DoPT order, Gujarat's Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) Anil Mukim (1985 batch) has been appointed as Secretary, Mines while Tamil Nadu cadre's C Chandramouli (1985 batch) has been appointed as Secretary, Personnel, in the government.
Another 1985 batch IAS officer from Andhra Pradesh cadre R Subrahmanyam has been elevated as secretary of the department of higher education in the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Subrahmanyam was the special secretary in the same department.
In another major reshuffle, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) Chairperson Bhupendra Singh, 1985-batch UP-cadre IAS, has been shifted to National Authority for Chemical Weapons Convention, Cabinet Secretariat as its chairperson in the rank and pay of additional secretary.
Singh's removal from the NPPA has raised the eyebrows of many as it was during his tenure that NPPA had further reduced prices of costly stents and held four private hospitals of the Delhi 'responsible' for making profits of up to 1,737 per cent on drugs, consumables and diagnostics from patients.
The NPPA, in its analysis report, had clearly pointed out that hospitals are making major profits through inflated maximum retail prices (MRP), while drugs and devices' manufacturers are getting their actual cost only. It's worth mentioning that Injeti Srinivas (1983 batch, Odisha cadre IAS) was also removed from NPPA in March 2015 for taking 'hard' decisions aimed at controlling the prices of essential drugs, including coronary stents.
Another IAS officer of the 1985 batch from Haryana cadre P Raghavendra Rao, who is presently in the cadre, will be new Secretary of Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals.
Tarun Sridhar, (IAS 1984, Himachal Pradesh cadre), will take over as Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry. The reshuffle, ahead of the 2019 elections, is aimed at toning up administration, an official said. Some of the changes were necessitated by vacancies and retirement.
Inder Jit Singh, (IAS 1985, Kerala cadre), will join the Cabinet Secretariat as Secretary for Coordination, while Surendra Nath Tripathi (IAS 1985, Odisha cadre) will take over as Secretary, Parliamentary Affairs. He was earlier Special Secretary in the Agriculture Ministry.
The government has also appointed three senior advocates as additional solicitors general in the Supreme Court -- Vikramjit Bannerjee, Aman Lekhi and Sandeep Sethi. It also extended the terms of four other additional solicitors general-- Pinky Anand, PS Narsimha, Tushar Mehta and Maninder Singh.
Rajiv Ranjan Mishra has been appointed as Director-General of the National Mission for Clean Ganga. He is at present additional secretary in Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry.
MM Kutty, IAS (UT 85), who was Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs has been appointed as Special Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, by temporarily upgrading the post, the order said. The 17 additional secretaries appointed include Sat Pal Chouhan as Additional Secretary in the Home Ministry and Sanjeev Gupta as Secretary, Interstate Council.