New Civil Aviation Secretary, DGCA soon

Seeking to set its house in order, the Union Civil Aviation Ministry is likely to witness a set of new faces taking over with K. N. Srivastava, a 1978-batch officer from Karnataka cadre, likely to take over as the new Civil Aviation Secretary and Arun Misra, a 1986-batch officer from West Bengal cadre, taking over as the new Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

The new postings at various levels are being seen as a move by the Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh to form his own team to run the Ministry in a smooth and efficient manner. The Cabinet Committee on Appointment has given its approval for the changes in the Ministry.

Mr. Srivastava is expected to replace the present Civil Aviation Secretary, S.N.A. Zaidi. He is presently serving as Special Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs and had served with the External Affairs Minister, S.M. Krishna when he was the Chief Minister of Karnataka. Mr. Zaidi retires on July 31 and is tipped for a new assignment.

Mr. Misra will take over as the new DGCA from Prashant Sukul who is handling the job presently as temporary charge. Mr. Misra was posted in Montreal as the India’s representative to International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and is expected to return back by end of this month. The West Bengal government has already given its clearance for Mr. Misra’s appointment on central deputation. Mr. Misra has served as a Joint Secretary in the Aviation Ministry since 2007 and was sent to ICAO in August 2009.

Fifty-year old Mr. Misra comes into DGCA at a time when it has been embroiled in controversy over action against the cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines and allegations by the former DGCA, Bharat Bhushan, who since has been appointed as Financial Adviser in the Steel Ministry, that documents recommending action against Kingfisher were missing from the files after his departure. However, government inquiry into the whole affair had concluded that there was no such noting on the files or any such documents existed.

Mr. Sukul, an Indian Defence Accounts Service officer, presently Joint Secretary in the Civil Aviation Ministry will go to ICAO as India’s representative.

Similarly, Anil Srivastava, presently Joint DGCA, has been appointed Joint Secretary in place of Mr. Sukul. A formal notification for these appointments is expected to be issued late this evening or on Saturday. The new appointments are also expected to lead to re-distribution of work in the bureaucratic circles of the Ministry.

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