Sangeeta Singh is a 1986 batch IAS of Gujarat cadre.
Two of her batchmates are said to be front runners to replace her in the coveted position of additional chief secretary (home). They are: Dr Rajiv Kumar Gupta, ACS (environment and forest) and also in charge MD of Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL) while Pankaj Kumar is ACS (revenue).
Besides their regular duty as ACS (environment and forest) and ACS (revenue) respectively, both were given additional responsibilities related to Covid-19: accordingly, Dr Gupta was madein charge of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) to guide and supervise its Covid-19 management while Pankaj Kumar was asked to guide and supervise the state health department’s COVID-19 management.
According to sources, both Dr Gupta and Pankaj Kumar have reportedly started lobbying for the important post as ACS (home), which is being seen as a stepping stone to be Chief Secretary when Anil Mukim’s extended tenure ends in February 2021.
“There is a strong competition between the two,” a senior official quipped.
Meanwhile, when Sangeeta Singh retires and new Home Secretary is appointed, there will likely be a small reshuffle in the state’s top bureaucracy in the secretariat. As per the sources, if Pankaj Kumar is moved to the Home Department, then either Mukesh Puri, ACS (urban development) or Sunaina Tomar, ACS (energy and petrochemicals) may be shifted to revenue.
It may be noted that the state is facing shortage of officials at senior level and therefore it has to run several departments on in charge basis. Currently, department of port and transport is handled on in charge basis by ACS (GAD) Kamal Dayani while ACS (Finance) Pankaj Joshi is also running GNFC as in charge MD.