The Congress government in Rajasthan has changed the Chief Secretary in a major bureaucratic reshuffle carried out in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rajeeva Swarup, a 1985-batch IAS officer, was appointed the new Chief Secretary, replacing incumbent D.B. Gupta, in the orders issued late on Thursday night.
Mr. Gupta, who is due to retire in September this year, has not been given any posting. Speculation are rife that he may opt for voluntary retirement.
Mr. Swarup, who was earlier the Additional Chief Secretary (Home), will retire in October, unless he is given an extension. While heading the Home Department, he was instrumental in deciding the guidelines for enforcing the COVID-19 lockdown in the State since March 25.
A total of 103 IAS officers were shifted. Additional Chief Secretary (Medical & Health) Rohit Kumar Singh, who led the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and evolved the “ruthless containment” model for the worst-affected Bhilwara district, was moved to the Home Department to replace Mr. Swarup.
Principal Secretary (Social Justice & Empowerment) Akhil Arora was named the new Principal Secretary (Medical & Health). Additional Chief Secretary (Industries) Subodh Agarwal, who coordinated the movement of stranded migrant workers from other States after the relaxation in lockdown restrictions, was posted as ACS (Mines & Petroleum). Principal Secretary (Tourism) Shreya Guha, who reportedly had some differences with Tourism Minister Vishvendra Singh in the recent past, was shifted as the Principal Secretary (Forest & Environment). Special Secretary (Panchayati Raj) Arushi Malik, who had a turf war with Additional Chief Secretary of her department, Rajeshwar Singh, was shifted to Ajmer as Divisional Commissioner. The other three officers given the posting as Divisional Commissioners were Samit Sharma (Jodhpur), Bhanwar Lal Mehra (Bikaner) and Prem Chand Berwal (Bharatpur).
17 Collectors transferred
The Collectors of 17 districts, including Jaipur, and Divisional Commissioners of five of the seven divisions in the State were transferred. Jaipur Collector Joga Ram was replaced by Antar Singh Nehra, while Divisional Commissioner Kailash Chand Verma was replaced by Somnath Mishra.