Replaces T.K.A. Nair who will be an Adviser in the PMO
Senior IAS officer Pulok Chatterjee, perceived to be a Gandhi family loyalist, took charge as Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister on Monday.
A 1974 Uttar Pradesh cadre officer, Mr. Chatterjee replaces T.K.A. Nair, who has been associated with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh since 2004. Mr. Nair, a retired IAS officer of the 1963 batch, will hold the office of Adviser with the rank and status of Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office.
Mr. Chatterjee returns to the PMO after a stint in the World Bank as Executive Director. The PMO is a familiar terrain to Mr. Chatterjee as he was a Joint Secretary from 2004 to 2009. Mr. Chatterjee's term will be co-terminus with that of the Prime Minister or till further orders.
The appointment of Mr. Chatterjee is part of a major overhaul of the PMO and comes at a juncture when the United Progressive Alliance government is hurtling from one crisis to another. Mr. Chatterjee had worked with the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi when she was the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
Given his proximity to Ms. Gandhi, he could ensure smoother coordination between the government and the Congress president.
A Secretary in the PMO, M. N. Prasad, has left to join the World Bank. Sanjay Mitra, a Joint Secretary, has already joined West Bengal government. He has been replaced by L. K. Atheeq, who was promoted recently.
Senior IFS officer Pankaj Saran, a Joint Secretary, is also on the way out. B. V. R. Subramanyam, an IAS officer of Chhattisgarh cadre who served as Private Secretary to Dr. Singh in UPA-I from 2004 to 2008, is also set to return to the PMO as Joint Secretary. He will replace Vini Mahajan.