Pradhan gets his man at the ministry after all

Vol 18, PW 4 (09 Oct 14) People & Policy

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Dharmendra Pradhan has finally succeeded in bringing his father’s one-time loyal aide Upendra Prasad Singh into the ministry as joint secretary exploration. Singh joined the ministry on September 29 after two failed attempts by oil minister Pradhan to bring him in earlier.

His request to appoint Singh as joint secretary exploration was earlier turned down by the PMO, and a previous request to appoint Singh as Pradhan’s personal secretary was also rejected. But now Singh is handling the critical exploration role, vacant since Aramane Giridhar was transferred to Hyderabad in June.

Singh, born on October 10, 1962, also holds additional charge of international cooperation and the politically sensitive and controversial gas pricing remit. He joined the IAS from Orissa in 1985 and was steel ministry joint secretary before moving to the oil ministry.

He is a mechanical engineer from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur. Singh should stay at the oil ministry till April 26, 2016, when he completes five years in Delhi.

Also expected to join the ministry this week as joint secretary is Sandeep Poundrik. “Yesterday Poundrik left his job as secretary urban development,” confirmed a ministry source from Bihar on October 8.

“He has left Patna for Delhi.”

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