New Delhi: In a rare case, former IAS officer and well known sanitation specialist Parameswaran Iyer was on Wednesday appointed as secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, which plays a key role in the government’s ambitious Swachh Bharat initiative.

The Swachh Bharat logo. Screengrab from MoDWS websiteThe Swachh Bharat logo. Screengrab from MoDWS website

The Swachh Bharat logo. Screengrab from MoDWS website

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 has approved the appointment of Iyer, who had taken voluntary retirement from Indian Administrative Service, on contract for a period two years, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.

The mandate of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation is to provide technical and financial assistance to the states for accelerating rural sanitation coverage, among others.

The 56-year-old 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.

Iyer is known as leading water and sanitation specialist worldwide.

In another order, senior IAS officer Anil Kumar Agarwal has 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.

Chowdhery, a 1991 batch officer of Indian Defence Accounts Service, has been appointed for a period of five years.

AK Poddar has been appointed Chief Vigilance Officer, who acts as a distant arm of Central Vigilance Commission, of Container Corporation of India Ltd (Concor).

Poddar, a 1987 batch officer of Indian Postal Service, has been appointed for two years.

The ACC has approved appointment of IPS officer Anand Kumar as Special Director in Intelligence Bureau.


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Boost for Swachh Bharat: Former bureaucrat appointed secretary MoDW and Sanitation