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

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.

Modi model? "Refusal" to build Narmada's micro canals, keep Kutch dry; help industry

By Medha Patkar*
This is the latest photograph of the Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) of the Sardar Sarovar, as of April 8! What does it show, expose, and what memories do you recall? Is it dry or dead? Is it a canal or a carcass of the same?

Indian talc products contain "contaminated" asbestos structures, can cause cancer: Study

Counterview Desk
A recent study, using polarizing light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction, and X-ray analysis on multiple over-the-counter Indian talc products for the presence of asbestos, has concluded that large quantities of body talc products are likely to pose a public health risk for asbestos-related diseases, especially for the cancers related to asbestos exposure.

Why are you silent on discrimination against Dalit jawans? Macwan questions Modi

By Rajiv Shah
Close on the heels of releasing his book in Gujarati, "Bhed Bharat", which lists 319 cases of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis across the country over the last five years, well-known Gujarat Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan has shot an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telling him the reasons why he does not want vote for the BJP.

During Emergency, the ruler was extolled but Opposition wasn't punched around: Scribe

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released book, “India: The Wrong Transition”, by a top Delhi-based scribe Anand K Sahay, has quoted “journalistic circles” to say that the Indian mainstream media – with certain “honourable exceptions” – has virtually abandoned the “practice of journalism”, and  this happened following a “sting operation” that showed that “the crème de la crème of Indian journalism were only too willing, for a suitable price, to let poisonous Hindutva propaganda prevail in their news columns.”

PepsiCo warned: Withdraw cases against Gujarat farmers or face dire consequences

By Our Representative
About 200 farmers’ leaders and activists, in a letter to Dr KV Prabhu, chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), and Dr R C Agrawal, registrar general, PPVFRA, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, have demanded that PepsiCo immediately withdraw all the legal suits it has slapped on many potato farmers in different districts of Gujarat.

Jharkhand Adivasi lynched to death by mob "chanting" Jai Shri Ram: Fact-finding team

Counterview Desk
On April 10, 2019, Prakash Lakda, a 50-year old Adivasi of Jurmu village of Gumla’s Dumri block, was lynched to death by a mob of men from the Sahu community of neighbouring Jairagi village. Three other victims from Jurmu – Peter Kerketta, Belarius Minj and Janerius Minj – sustained severe injuries due to the beating by the mob. A fact-finding team of Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JJM), comprising of several activists and representatives of member organisations, conducted a fact-finding inquiry into the incident on April 14-15.

Bill Gates "promoting" GMO, Bt cotton, like cartels that have roots in Hitler's Germany

By Our Representative
World-renowned environmental leader and ecologist Dr Vandana Shiva has expressed concern that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation, has joined the bandwagon of “a poison cartel of three" – Monsanto and Bayer, Syngenta and ChemChina, Dow and DuPont – all of whom allegedly have “roots in Hitler’s Germany and finding chemicals to kill people”.

Investigation shows Narmada downstream "seriously" polluted. Reason: apathy, greed

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant, Swati Desai*
Our investigation regarding quality of water flowing in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD), dated April 6, 2019, between 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. reiterates, what is commonly known now, that the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) is planned without considering its impact on the downstream Narmada River stretch of 161 kilometres, its ecology, biodiversity and fishery, and lakhs of people living close to and dependent on the river directly or indirectly. This, in turn, has led to its present disastrous state.

Emergence of a rare Dalit teacher in IIT-Kanpur "disturbed" certain faculty members

By PS Krishnan, IAS (Retd)*
Dr Subrahmanyam Sadrela, a faculty member in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur since January 1, 2018, and one of the rare Dalit members of the faculty in IIT group of institutions, is facing the threat of revocation of his PhD thesis, and thereby also jeopardizing his job and career.