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Narendra Modi government on Wednesday, Aug 21, appointed Rajiv Gauba, a 1982 batch officer of Jharkhand cadre, as the new Cabinet Secretary.

Gauba’stwo-year tenure will be effective from August 30, 2019, as per the official order, but the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet had also approved his appointment as Officer on Special Duty in the Cabinet Secretariat with immediate effect till he takes over as Cabinet Secretary.

Gaubawill replace PK Sinha, who was appointed Cabinet Secretary in 2015 and has continued since then, getting several extensions beyond his two-year tenure.

A trusted officer of the government according to officials,Gauba’sselection to the country’s top bureaucratic position was on expected lines.

Filling Gauba’s place in Home Ministry is Ajay Kumar Bhalla, currently serving as an officer on special duty in the same ministry. He was appointed as the new Union home secretary today (Thursday, Aug 22) said an official order.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved Bhalla’s appointment as the new home secretary.

Bhalla, a 1984-batch Assam-Meghalaya cadre IAS officer, served as the Union power secretary, before being appointed as an officer on special duty on July 24.

He will have a fixed two-year tenure till August 2021 as the home secretary.

The two-year tenure norm has been done away with in the case of another top levelappointment, that of Ajay Kumar, Secretary, Defence Production, who has been shifted as Secretary, Defence. Along with the posts of Cabinet Secretary, Home Secretary, External Affairs Secretary, the Defence Secretary post was also a two-year tenure one, but this has not been specified in the case of Ajay Kumar.

Kumar is a 1985 batch IAS officer belonging to Kerala cadre and will replace Sanjay Mitra, who was Defence Secretary for more than two years and was given three months’ extensionon completion of his two-year tenure in June this year.

In Defence Production, Kumar has been replaced with Subhash Chandra, a 1986 batch Karnataka cadre IAS officer.

Another 1985 batch IAS officer Brij Kumar Agarwal has been appointed Secretary, Lokpal. He is from Himachal Pradesh cadre.

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