Manoj Ahuja takes charge as Odisha's chief secretary, CEO Nikunja Bihari Dhal deputed to CMO

A 1990 batch IAS officer of the Odisha cadre, he took charge from the outgoing chief secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena.
Senior IAS officer Manoj Ahuja assumes charge as the chief secretary from Pradeep Kumar Jena
Senior IAS officer Manoj Ahuja assumes charge as the chief secretary from Pradeep Kumar Jena Photo | Express

BHUBANESWAR: Senior IAS officer Manoj Ahuja assumed charge as the chief secretary of Odisha at Lok Seva Bhawan here on Sunday.

A 1990 batch IAS officer of the Odisha cadre, he took charge from the outgoing chief secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena. He is the 46th chief secretary of Odisha. Ahuja will also be the secretary in the General Administration and Public Grievances department.

After taking over as the chief secretary of the state, Ahuja visited Jagannath temple at Puri to have darshan of Lord Jagannath. He told mediapersons that he has convened a meeting of senior officials on Monday to discuss details of the Rath Yatra scheduled on July 7 and 8.

Official sources said, he has also convened a meeting of all secretaries on the day. A reshuffle of top officials is expected within the next two to three days as the new BJP government is carrying on with same set of officials since assuming office on June 12.

Ahuja started his career as sub-collector of Dharamgarh in Kalahandi district. He was also collector of Khurda district. He was commissioner-cum-secretary in the Steel and Mines, Sports and Youth Services departments, commissioner of Commercial Taxes and principal secretary in the Cooperation department before his central deputation in 2017. He was the Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare secretary when the cabinet committee on appointments approved his repatriation to Odisha cadre on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the state government has also appointed chief electoral officer (CEO) Nikunja Bihari Dhal as the additional chief secretary in the chief minister’s office (CMO). Dhal will head the CMO.

The outgoing chief secretary PK Jena wished Ahuja all the best after handing over charge. Jena said in a post in X, “I relinquished charge of chief secretary today. I welcome Manoj Ahuja one of my good friends from 1990 batch (from my Kalahandi days) my successor sub-collector Dharamgarh and l’m happy to have been succeeded by him today to hold the post of chief secretary. Wish him all the best.”

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