In a significant bureaucratic reshuffle, the Haryana government on Wednesday appointed senior IAS officer Vijay Vardhan as the state’s new chief secretary.
Vardhan, 58, replaces Keshni Anand Arora, who retired on September 30. He will be the 34th chief secretary of Haryana since it was carved out as a separate state in 1966.
The 1985-batch Haryana cadre IAS officer will also hold the charge of general administration, personnel, training, parliamentary affairs, vigilance and administrative reforms departments and secretary in-charge of plan coordination, the order said.
He is due to retire in November 2021. Currently, Vardhan is the Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Home, Jails, Criminal Investigation and Administration of Justice Department. He was also the Financial Commissioner, Revenue and Disaster Management; and Consolidation Departments.
The Haryana government also issued orders of transfers and postings of five more IAS officers. Among them is Rajeev Arora, Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, who will also hold the charge of Home, Jails, Criminal Investigation and Administration of Justice Department besides being the Nodal Officer for COVID-19. Sanjeev Kaushal, ACS, Agriculture and Farmers’’ Welfare Department, has been posted as the ACS and Financial Commissioner, Revenue and Disaster Management and Consolidation Departments; and the ACS, Cooperation Department, relieving Vijai Vardhan of the charge. Alok Nigam, Additional Chief Secretary, Forests and Wildlife Department, has been posted as the ACS, Public Works (B&R) and Architecture Department; and Forests and Wildlife Department. Devender Singh, ACS, Irrigation and Water Resources Department, has been given the additional charge of the ACS, Agriculture and Farmers’’ Welfare Department. Dharamvir Singh, Municipal Commissioner, Yamunanagar, has been posted as the Deputy Commissioner, Charkhi Dadri.
It is worth mentioning that both Arora and Kaushal have been in the good books of Chief Minister Manohar Lal and hail from the Punjabi community. But both the officials have much experience by virtue of holding key positions in different governments.