NEW DELHI: In a significant move, the Narendra Modi government on Wednesday brought back a retired IAS officer to steer the government’s ambitious Swachh Bharat initiative by appointing him as the secretary of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
Known as a sanitation specialist, 56-year-old Parameswaran Iyer, a 1981 batch IAS officer hailing from Tamil Nadu had taken voluntary retirement in 2009. He worked as Senior Rural Water Sanitation Specialist at the United Nations between April 1998 and February 2006. He is known as leading water and sanitation specialist worldwide.
It is probably for the first time that a former bureaucrat has been appointed to the post in the ministry instead of a serving IAS officer. The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Iyer on contract for a period two years, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.
Senior IAS officer Anil Kumar Agarwal has also been appointed Secretary, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST). Agarwal, a 1981 batch IAS officer of West Bengal cadre, is currently Secretary in the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA).
The Centre had last month decided to merge the MOIA with the External Affairs Ministry. Kamal Chowdhery has been appointed as Managing Director of National Cooperative Consumer’s Federation of India Limited (NCCF), apex body of consumer cooperative societies in the country, under the Department of Consumer Affairs.