The State government, in a shuffle of senior officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) on Tuesday, transferred Home Secretary Niranjan Mardi and posted Apurva Varma as his successor.

An officer belonging to the 1986 batch of the IAS, Dr. Mardi held the post since May this year. He is the fourth Home Secretary to be shifted since the present government took over in May 2011.

Sheela Rani Chunkath, Rameshram Mishra and R. Rajagopal were his predecessors.

His present assignment is Principal Secretary/ Commissioner of Economics and Statistics.

The 52-year-old Varma, who is one year junior to Dr Mardi in terms of batch, held the post of Principal Secretary (Higher Education) for about one year. It was during his stint in higher education that the 84-year-old Annamalai University in Chidambaram had to be restructured. Now, a new law is in place, providing greater powers to the State government over the university.

This was preceded by a special audit of the affairs of the university in the wake of the staff unrest and a financial crisis.

As a result of other changes, the Chennai Metro Rail has got a new Managing Director: Pankaj Kumar Bansal, Project Director of the Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project, replaced K. Rajaraman, who was in the post for the last three years.