Three months after coming to power in Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi Adityanath government on Thursday appointed senior IAS officer Rajive Kumar as the new state chief secretary and reshuffled beaureaucratic appointments to around 40 government posts. The 1981-batch Kumar replaced 1983-batch Rahul Bhatnagar.
Kumar was repatriated by the Centre where he served as secretary, ministry of shipping since December 2014. Bhatnagar, who was made chief secretary by the previous government last September, has been posted as Chairman, Greater Noida.
After assuming the charge on Thursday, Kumar said that he had met Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday evening, where they discussed the priorities of the state government.
“Infrastructure like roads and electricity is top on the priority of the government. The CM is also concerned about ensuring that poor people get ration cards and to ensure that the medical department is geared up to meet immediate medical attention to those in need,” he told The Indian Express.
On the question of political pressure on the bureaucracy, Kumar said that every one has to work as per law. He added that during his 36-years’ of service, he has politely refused works, which were not possible as per law.
“Agar sambhav nahi hai to vinamrata purvak mana kar diya… (If it was not possible, then I would politely refuse them),” said Kumar.
Kumar, who also met with departmental heads later in the day, said that his task would be to ensure that targets are achieved in time.
Calling the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as a “revolutionary change”, Kumar said that while there would be a “lot of learning as we go ahead”, he added that the government would endeavor to keep the stakeholder updated and informed through workshops.
“My job is largely to ensure co-ordination and co-operation and with team work and planning, I believe that we would be able to reach the set targets in time,” said Kumar, adding that he requires some time to understand the way things worked in the state government.
Known for a “non-controversial image” in the state bureaucracy, Kumar, has an MSc from Lucknow University, and a masters in Public Administration from Harvard University in 1997-’98.
In his career, Kumar has served on different posts right from Magistrate of Mathura and Firozabad cities during the initial years of his services to Managing Director of UP State Industrial Development Corporation in 1994.
Kumar, whose home district is Bulandshahr, has also been Divisional Commissioner Meerut and had served in the Central Cabinet Secretariat from 2005 to 2012. In 2012, he was made Principal Secretary Rural Development by Akhilesh Government but in a year’s time, he was shifted sent to central deputation as additional secretary, department of petroleum and natural gas in June 2013. In December 2014, he was made secretary, ministry of shipping.
OTHER MAJOR RESHUFFLE
A change at the top bureaucratic spot in the state was followed by large-scale administrative reshuffle of 40 IAS officers later in the day. The reshuffle was significant as many officers, who were on the waitlist after the new government took over and seniors who returned to the home cadre, were given postings.
While senior IAS officer Sanjay Bhoosreddy, who was on central government deputation till recently, has been made the new Principal Secretary, Sugar Industry and Sugarcane Development Department. He has also been made the new Commissioner, sugarcane as well.
Then government also shifted Principal Secretary Appointments Kamran Rizvi, who has been made new Managing Director and Chairman of Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam. Rama Raman, who was on the waitlist, has been appointed as new Commissioner and Director of State Handloom Corporation, whereas Navneet Sehgal, who was also on the waitlist has been made new Principal Secretary Khadi and Gramudyog department.
Then Anita Singh, former Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, who was on the waitlist has been made new Principal Secretary Samagra Gram Vikas Department. Amit Kumar Gosh, who was also on the waitlist has been made new Secretary Backward Class welfare Department. While Vaibhav Srivastava was made new Vice-Chairman of Gorakhpur Development Authority, Harshita Mathur was made CEO of Gorakhpur Industrial Development Authority.
Meanwhile, Government also replaced Banda District Magistrate, from where complaints of illegal mining were coming. While Saroj Kumar, DM Banda has been made new Mission Director, National Rural Livelihood Mission. Mahendra Bahadur Singh, secretary Housing would replace him as new District Magistrate of Banda.