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Mehta is J&K’s new Chief Secretary

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BVR shifted to Delhi; IB, RAW heads get extension

New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam was on Thursday transferred from and A K Mehta was appointed in his place as the new Chief Secretary of the union territory by the government which also granted one-year extension to the heads of RAW and Intelligence Bureau.

According to official orders issued on Thursday, Subrahmanyam, a 1987-batch IAS officer of Chhattisgarh cadre, will come to the Centre as an Officer on Special Duty in the Commerce Ministry and will take over as Secretary, Department of Commerce, upon Anup Wadhawan’s superannuation on June 30.

Subrahmanyam had taken over as the Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir in June 2018, and during his tenure its special status was scrapped in 2019 and the state was bifurcated into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla informed Lt Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha that the Appointments’ Committee of Cabinet had given its approval to make Mehta, a 1988-batch IAS officer, the new Chief Secretary, officials said.

“….it has been decided with the approval of the competent authority that Arun Kumar Mehta…will take over as chief secretary of Jammu and Kashmir from the date that BVR Subrahmanyam relinquishes the charge and until further orders,” the letter to Sinha said.

An official order from the union territory administration was expected soon.

Mehta, who is at present the financial commissioner, had a constant tussle with Subrahmanyam, with the latter even proceeding on protest leave in September last year.

Although now the Jammu and Kashmir cadre has been merged with the AGMUT, Mehta has served in the union territory for long and is seen as a welcome change by officials as he is considered as an insider and aware about the problems.

The government also granted one-year extension to Intelligence Bureau (IB) head Arvind Kumar and country’s external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief Samant Goel beyond their current two-year tenure ending on June 30.

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