Vijay Singh is new defence secretary


New Delhi : Ending days of speculation, the government Thursday appointed Vijay Singh, currently secretary in the department of road transport and highways, as the new defence secretary to replace Shekhar Dutt.

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Singh, an IAS office of the 1970 batch from Madhya Pradesh, will take over on Aug 1 and will have a tenure of two years like the home secretary and chiefs of the Intelligence Bureau and the Research & Analysis Wing.

The cabinet also approved the appointment of Brahm Dutt, presently chairperson, National Authority for Chemical Weapons Convention, as secretary in the department of road transport and highways.

Pradeep Kumar, currently chairperson, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), will be the new secretary in the department of disinvestment, ministry of finance.

Among the other appointments announced were Ajay Shanker as secretary in the department of industrial policy and promotion and J.S. Maini as chairperson, NHAI.

Sheela Bhide, secretary and financial adviser in the ministry of external affairs, has been appointed chairperson, India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) in the department of commerce. Bhide will have a tenure of three years as ITPO chairperson.

Badal K. Das, secretary, ministry of culture, shall hold the additional charge of the post of tourism secretary for a period of three months. This is in lieu of Christy Fernandes who was named secretary to President Pratibha Patil.

Falguni Rajkumar, presently secretary of the North Eastern Council Secretariat, Shillong, will move to New Delhi in the ministry of development of the North Eastern Region.