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Nripendra Misra quits as PM’s principal secretary

Former Cabinet Secretart PK Sinha has been appointed OSD in PMO following Misra's request.

ET Bureau|
Updated: Aug 31, 2019, 07.33 AM IST
Nripendra Misra_bccl
Mishra has been a key official in the Modi's administration since the start of BJP regime in 2014.
NEW DELHI: Nripendra Misra, principal secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi since his 2014 inaugural, stepped down on Friday. He’d informed Modi of his desire to do so soon after the 2019 election, in which Modi returned to power. The Prime Minister paid tribute to Misra, 74, and asked him to continue in the post for two more weeks.

“Nripendra Misra is among the most outstanding officers who has a great grasp of public policy and administration,” Modi said. “When I was new to Delhi in 2014, he taught me a lot and his guidance remains extremely valuable. Like a companion, he stayed with me for five years. After the 2019 election results, he had requested to be relieved from the post of principal secretary. I had then asked him to continue till an alternative arrangement is made. Now, we have accepted his request.”

Misra will be relieved by the second week of September, he added.

“I have enjoyed working, committing my every hour and thought for more than five years towards this satisfying journey,” Misra said in a statement. “It is now time for me to move on, even as I remain devoted to public causes and national interest.”
Outgoing cabinet secretary PK Sinha, an IAS officer of the 1977 batch, has been appointed as officer on special duty (OSD) in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Former home secretary Rajiv Gauba took charge from him as cabinet secretary on Friday.

Slew of Appointments

Misra was seen as one of the PM’s key aides, similar to predecessors Brajesh Mishra during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s premiership and PN Haksar in Indira Gandhi’s time.

Modi said Misra will be embarking on a new phase after serving the PMO for over five years and making an indelible contribution to India’s growth trajectory. Misra said it had been a privilege to serve the country under Modi.

“I am deeply grateful to him for this opportunity and complete confidence he has placed in me,” Misra said. “I thank all colleagues, within and outside the government, friends and my family for this support. I wish Narendra Modi, our Prime Minister, success as he leads our country into a bright future.” The 1967 batch retired IAS officer was given a cabinet rank along with PK Mishra and national security adviser Ajit Doval in the second term of the Modi government.

Some other appointments were also made to the PMO on Friday. Arvind Shrivastava, joint secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs, has been moved to the PMO as joint secretary. Saurabh Shukla, former private secretary to the late finance minister Arun Jaitley, has been appointed a director in the PMO. Gujarat cadre IAS officer Hardik Satishchandra Shah, who was serving as private secretary to environment minister Prakash Javadekar, has been appointed deputy secretary in the PMO. Two IFS officers — Abhishek Shukla and Pratik Mathur — have also been appointed deputy secretaries in the PMO.

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