Skip to main content

Pandian chosen as Gujarat's next chief secretary, setting aside his senior SK Nanda's claim for the top post

By Our Representative
D Jagatheesa Pandian, additional chief secretary, industries, has been chosen by Gujarat government to take over as new state chief secretary, setting aside the claim of No 2 in the bureaucracy, Sudip Kumar Nanda. Belonging to the 1981 IAS batch, Pandian will take over as chief secretary on November 1, 2014. Officials said, Nanda’s Congress past played a major role for dropping him. Currently additional chief secretary, home, Nanda has been sent to head the Gujarat State Fertilizers Corporation (GSFC), a state public sector undertaking (PSU) in Vadodara. More recently, during Navratri, Nanda overturned Vishwa Hindu Parishad move not to allow Muslims to enter garba venues. He barred use of identity cards to take part in garbas.
Belonging to the 1981 batch, Pandian, a “devout” Roman Catholic, and known to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was instrumental, as managing-director of the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC), in turning the state PSU into an important national player in oil and gas exploration. Modi as Gujarat chief minister gained a major political milestone in 2005, when Pandian helped him declare that GSPC had found 20 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas in the KG Basin off Andhra Pradesh coast, “highest ever” in India. It is quite another thing that later the claim was found to be totally hyped.
Another of Pandian’s ambitious venture was of turning GSPC into an international player by taking oil and gas blocks in Egypt, Australia, Yemen and Indonesia. However, his biggest venture – to go in for oil and gas exploration in Egypt – was abandoned recently, with huge losses to the tune of 300 million dollars to the PSU. Formerly with the World Bank in Washington, Pandian, first as GSPC chief and later as head of the state energy and chemicals department, played a crucial role in propagating Modi in the US. He frequently visited the US to convince policy makers and corporate about the need to look towards Gujarat as the main investment destination.
Nanda’s claim to be chief secretary was rejected twice – instead of elevating him on the top post, the Gujarat government extended the term of outgoing chief secretary Varesh Sinha first in May and then in July, making many a babu ask why he was being asked to “suffer” like this. It is believed, Modi’s Man Friday in the chief minister’s office – K Kailashnathan – played the main role in ensuring that Pandian is preferred over Nanda. Officials site not only his Youth Congress days in 1970s as the reason for not allowing him to be Gujarat chief secretary; they say, he continued to remain “close to Congress leaders” in Delhi till the UPA was thrown out of power in May this year.
As head of the industries department, Pandian is the key person looking after all the preparations for the Vibrant Gujarat global investors’ summit, to take place on January 11-12, 2015. Proactive and sharp, he is known to get along well with politicians of all hues – whether of the BJP or the Congress. Pandian will retire in May 2015, after which, it is believed, Hasmukh Adhia, additional chief secretary, finance, will become the next chief secretary. Former principal secretary in the chief minister’s office under Modi, Adhia retires in November 2018. Adhia was of the chief architects of Modi’s karmayogi maha-abhiyan – an effort to “educate” babus in RSS style workshops.

Comments

Dr RKD Goel said…
Will he check all the illegal work and constructions going on in Vadodara. Even illegal constructions on All India Radio Security fencing wall from 1999 causing Security lapses of AIR building any one may sobatage AIR Vadodara Building.

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Did Modi own, buy digital camera costing Rs 7 lakh in 1987-88, also used email?

Counterview Desk
In an interview to the news channel News Nation, aired on Saturday last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar is known to have become a laughing stock across India.

Now, top Gujarat "litterateur" close to Modi says: Godse was patriot, so was Gandhi

By Rajiv Shah
A little over a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse a patriot saying he would never forgive her for the remark, a top Sangh Parivar ideologue, known to close to Modi in Gujarat, has supported her, saying her statement should be seen “within a context.” Thakur won from Bhopal by more than 3.5 lakh votes defeating her nearest rival, veteran Congressman and ex-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.

When a neo-nationalist "invaded" hijab clad ladies, Bengali looking scholar in Delhi metro

By Aditi Kundu*
Travelling in Delhi metro on a daily basis to commute from Mayur Vihar to Dwarka, I see diverse people everyday. One can hear them talk about different aspects of life, from kitchen pilitics to national politics. On the morning of May 13, I witnessed a strange incident; disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Terror attacks: Difference in public reactions in India, those in Colombo, Christchurch

By Battini Rao*
Recently, on April 20 during Easter Sunday, more than 250 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Local Islamic organisations Thawheed Jamath (NJT) and Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) are held responsible for the attack. Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

Women lost 88 lakh jobs in 2018: Why Modi "failed" to address their disempowerment?

Counterview Desk
Five human rights leaders Anjali Bhardwaj, Shabnam Hashmi, Purnima Gupta, Dipta Bhog, and Amrita Johri of the Women March for Change have posed 56 questions (alluding to Modi’s claim of 56 inches chest) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP against the backdrop of his interview with a Bollywood star, which was allegedly masqueraded as a “non-political” conversation.

Disproportionately high death sentences against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims: UN told

Counterview Desk
In their joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to meet for the listing of adoption of list of issues at its 126th session, July 1-26, 2019, top Dalit rights organizations have taken strong exception to, among other things, "disproportional application of death sentencing by the judiciary of minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis".

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

India's 80% construction sites "unsafe", deaths 20 times higher than those in Britain

By Rajiv Shah
The Government of India may be seeking to project India’s construction sector as the country’s second-largest employer of the country after agriculture, providing jobs to more than 44 million people, and contributing nearly 9% to the national GDP, yet, ironically, its workforce is more unprotected than any other industrial sector of the country. Data suggest that the possibility of a fatality is five times more likely in the construction industry  than in a manufacturing industry, and the risk of a major injury is 2.5 times higher.

India sans Modi preferable, Congress worthier recipient of Indians’ votes: The Economist

By Our Representative
In a strongly-worded and crucial commentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the electoral political battle is on, influential British weekly “The Economist”, has declared that “Indians, who are in the midst of voting in a fresh election, would be better off with a different leader”, even as pointing out that that under Modi, “India’s ruling party poses a threat to democracy.”